OPPONENTS of plans to build a waste-to-energy incinerator in Keighley are looking forward to their two days in court next year.

Aire Valley Against Incineration (AVAI) has confirmed its judicial review court case against Bradford Council's decision to grant planning permission for the power plant of the Aire Valley Bypass is to be held in Leeds on January 15 and 16.

The applicant, Endless Energy Ltd, wants to build the controversial facility off the eastern end of Marley Road.

Initial preparatory works have been done to this site, but no actual construction has started.

Responding to the news of the confirmed hearing dates, Keighley MP John Grogan, who is backing those opposed to the facility, said: "I welcome the announcement of the judicial review date, which is the next stage in what could still be a long process.

"By coincidence this week I am tabling a motion in the House of Commons calling for a moratorium on the building of additional incinerators.

"All the evidence suggests the country now has an over capacity of incinerators which is diverting waste to fuel them which would otherwise be recycled."

AVAI spokesman Simon Shimbles said he and his campaign colleagues were currently finding out whether they will have the opportunity to observe the judicial review hearing proceedings in person.

"I hope that we will be allowed to," he added. "I'm very happy that we now have these dates.

"Our legal team are doing a lot of work behind the scenes and we'll be having another meeting to bring everyone up to speed and decide on our strategy.

"We are still fundraising because these things are quite dynamic, circumstances change, and we might still have to challenge the issuing of an environmental permit."

In October AVAI revealed it had raised a total of £41,013 to pay for the fight against the incinerator, £15,918 of which has already been spent. This is enough to cover the legal costs of the judicial review.

Supporters of the group have been staging a programme of events to generate cash for AVAI's campaign fund.

Endless Energy has not commented on the dates announced for the judicial review.

But the firm previously argued generating energy from waste that would otherwise end up in landfill has a long, successful track record in the UK.

The company claims there are already dozens of proven facilities across Britain and Europe operating safely while under the strictest environmental regulations.

It has also said its Keighley plant would create about 300 jobs during construction and 79 permanent posts once the facility is fully operational.