DONATIONS have been flooding in to help the fight against an incinerator being built four miles from Ilkley Moor.

Local people have donated more than £19,000 in just over a month - with one anonymous individual giving £5,000.

Ilkley and Keighley's newly elected MP John Grogan is one of those supporting the Aire Valley Against Incineration campaign. He has pledged to donate half of his first month's salary to help the group mount a judicial review against Bradford Council’s decision to grant planning permission for the incinerator.

Committee member, Ben Rhydding campaigner and former Green Party election candidate Ros Brown said: "With the pledges we're still expecting, and donations we hope will come in from our current leafleting campaign, we're getting closer to the next milestone in our fundraising campaign of £25,000. With everyone's continued generosity we hope to meet this within three weeks as required."

Last week Mr Grogan said he was optimistic that people battling to overturn a decision to approve plans for a waste to energy incinerator can reach their goal.

He spoke after meeting members of Aire Valley Against Incineration, who are opposing the proposals for the site at Marley.

Mr Grogan said despite Bradford Council approving the plans by Endless Energy Ltd, AVAI’s application for a Judicial Review and its intention to contest any Environment Agency Operating Licence have a realistic chance of success.

“I’m confident that the plans could still be refused,” he said.

“I’ve spoken to the Environment Agency and asked whether the issuing of an operating licence is a matter of routine, but they did say they have refused one for another waste-to-energy plant fairly recently.

“And, having the read the papers, I do think there is a strong case for the Judicial Review.

“Bradford Council did turn down an earlier application for this waste-to-energy incinerator based on its likely impact on the locality, including on East Riddlesden Hall, but then the Council approved a very similar application, without very clear evidence as to why it was different from the previous one.”

Mr Grogan said he understood Endless Energy has not yet applied to the Environment Agency for an operating licence for its intended facility, noting that once it does so the process for deciding whether to issue the licence could take up to one year.

He said the Environment Agency had told him it would be willing to meet with AVAI as part of a consultation process during the decision-making process but that was unlikely to happen before the autumn.

Endless Energy has stressed that its waste-to-energy incinerator will comply with strict EU safety and emissions standards and it will regenerate a once derelict site while providing additional employment for the Keighley area.