A rebel councillor plans to chain himself to the incomplete structure of the Beddington incinerator in a dramatic escalation of his protests over the controversial project.
Nick Mattey, an independent Beddington councillor who was earlier this year expelled from the Liberal Democrat party after publicly opposing the scheme, said upcoming public tours of the would be a good opportunity to “make some noise”.
Landowners Viridor plan to open the site, along with the surrounding Beddington Farmland, to show off the restoration work taking place – and the £205m incinerator that is currently under construction.
Cllr Mattey said: “I haven’t so far chained myself to the structure -I prefer the power of the pen - but I probably could and I may well do.
“This would certainly be a good opportunity to do so.
“I would prefer to chain councillor Dombey to it to stop her causing any more damage, though, but I am not sure she would let me – voluntarily.”
Explaining his plans, he added: “I’ll buy myself some self-locking handcuffs - I have heard they are quite hard to cut - and get the London Fire Brigade to come down and have a look at what’s going on.
"It’ll make some noise at least.”
The site, which is usually off limits to the public, will be restored as a “haven for wildlife” with the help of Beddington Farmland Bird Group and MKA Ecology, according to Viridor.
It will be opened up to the public for tours on August 23 and September 11. Ian Morrish, director of landfill energy for the waste management company, said: “Being able to show the communities of south London what we do is vitally important.
“Once we finish landfilling we will start restoring the site, and once established, the community will be able to benefit from this open space. “These open days offer a sneak peek into the progress we are making.”
Once operational in 2018, any household waste brought to the site will be burned in the incinerator instead of being sent to landfill, generating enough electricity enough to power approximately 30,000 homes and the facility itself each year.
Campaigners launched a legal battle to stop the incinerator, which they claimed would pose a health risk, but were defeated at the High Court in 2014.
Viridor and the South London Waste Partnership, which commissioned the incinerator, insist it would be a “clean and safe” alternative to landfill and would cause only a small increase in pollution.
But Cllr Mattey added: “It is a very sad occasion for a borough that used to pride itself on being clean and green.”