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Al Fayed in fresh legal challenge against incinerator

By SPP Reporter

Mohamed Al Fayed has lodged a new legal challenge against the approved Invergordon incinerator
Mohamed Al Fayed has lodged a new legal challenge against the approved Invergordon incinerator

TYCOON Mohamed Al Fayed has underlined his determination to stop the "thoroughly undesirable" waste incinerator being built at Invergordon, by lodging a fresh legal challenge.

Mr Al Fayed, whose Scottish home is Balnagown Castle in Easter Ross, revealed he has lodged a new statutory challenge in the Court of Session in Edinburgh against the granting of planning permission to Combined Power and Heat (Highlands) Limited to establish the rubbish-burning incinerator.

It follows a decision by Highland Council to lodge an appeal to challenge the decision of a Reporter who granted planning permission for the £43 million plant.

The Reporter, Richard Dent – appointed last year by the Scottish Government to determine a planning appeal by Combined Power and Heat – allowed the development to go ahead after hearing evidence at a public inquiry held in Invergordon.

Mr Al Fayed’s firm, Ross Estates Company, has lodged grounds of appeal citing deficiencies that go to the heart of Mr Dent’s decision, including a failure to take proper account of the impact of the incinerator on road safety at the Tomich junction and a failure to properly assess whether an alternative site for the incinerator might be more appropriate.

"I am determined to stop this thoroughly undesirable development in an important area of natural beauty, right next to a residential area where families bring up their children," he said.

"They should be allowed to do so without the threat to their health and happiness presented by a rubbish burning incinerator in their midst, constantly giving off noxious emissions. I shall not give up until justice is done. If there is rubbish to be burned, let it be burned where it is created, not on the banks of the Cromarty Firth".

A statement from Ross Estates Company said it understood Highland Council had also lodged a statutory challenge to the Reporter’s decision and it looked forward to working with the local authority on this matter.

Mr Al Fayed has already bankrolled a previous legal challenge over the plant which would be sited at the Cromarty Firth Industrial Estate. Local lobby group Icare Trust, made up of local residents, has also led a vocal campaign against the incinerator.

A series of surgery meetings is to be held by local councillors in Invergordon to answer questions about the incinerator and the local authority’s bid to block it.

Beginning in the last week of January and continuing on a regular basis, councillors Martin Rattray, Maxine Smith and Mike Finlayson will be on hand at public events being proposed for the evening and during the day, to answer all questions arising from the issue.

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