CAMPAIGNERS fighting plans for an incinerator have passed their £25,000 target to fund a legal challenge.

Aire Valley Against Incineration has raised more than £27,000 to fund its Judicial Review bid. The group is challenging a Bradford Council decision to give planning permission for the incinerator in Keighley. More than 2,100 people have objected to the scheme.

Ros Brown, Ben Rhydding campaigner and Keighley and Ilkley Green Party member has warned about potential health risks from the incinerator which will be sited just four miles from Ilkley.

Earlier this year she said the plume was expected to fall on the town and that local families would become guinea pigs in a health experiment if the incinerator was allowed.

This week she spoke of her delight at the latest fundraising development.

"This is wonderful news and reflects the serious concerns many local people have about these plans," she said. "Reaching this target also reflects people's generosity and willingness to act to protect the health of our local communities and environment. As a committee with a wide range of local supporters we'll continue to do our best to challenge these plans and find a solution for this site that adds real value for our local area."

AVAI events over recent months have included stalls at summer galas, a march, site protests, and a sponsored abseil.With the help of AVAI’s 7,750 Facebook followers, the group has reached its second public fund raising target of £25,000, meaning that more than £35,000 has now been raised from public donations in a little over five months. The campaign has also attracted the support of Keighley and Ilkley's MP John Grogan, who donated half of his first month’s salary to the cause.

AVAI expect to learn in the next few weeks if the request to launch a judicial review against Bradford Council has been successful.

Endless Energy has insisted the facility will adhere to strict environmental rules.

Earlier this year a spokesperson for Bradford Council said: "When the Council’s Regulatory and Appeals Committee considered the proposed Keighley Energy from Waste facility they took into account all of the relevant material planning considerations. This included highway safety matters and the visual impact of the development on areas such as Ilkley Moor. The application was considered in line with government advice and legislation and there was detailed consultation with Public Health England and the Environment Agency, neither of which raised any objection to the granting of planning permission.

"With regards to the concerns on pollution, it is the Environment Agency’s responsibility to regulate the emissions from the operation of the proposed facility and this will be controlled under the Environmental Permitting Regime."