A £300 million deal to build a wastewater treatment plant in East Sussex may finally come to fruition after campaigners were rebuffed at the High Court. 
The Queen’s Bench Division in London threw out an application for a judicial review into the Peacehaven scheme, which has been plagued by planning problems since it was first announced in 1997. 
The wastewater and sludge recycling scheme in Brighton and Hove was initially valued at £160 million, but the deal is now worth almost double that. It resurfaced last year after failing to get past public inquiries in 1999 and 2006. 
Client Southern Water has appointed Costain to the project. The contractor is now waiting for legalities to be resolved before work can begin on site. 
As well as the wastewater treatment works and the sludge recycling centre, the work will include the construction of a 2.5 km-long sea outfall at Friars’ Bay, to release the cleansed water far out to sea. It will also involve an 11 km underground sewer between Black Rock and Peacehaven to transfer wastewater to the new works, with a further pumping station at Portobello to transfer water from surrounding towns. 
Two underground pumping stations at Marine Drive, Brighton, and Portobello WTW at Telscombe Cliffs will also be built. 
Campaign group Peacehaven Residents Opposed to Urban Development (Proud) wanted the scheme at Lower Hoddern Farm scrapped. It applied for a judicial review after East Sussex County Council granted planning permission for the works last year. 
But the court has since ruled there is no case for a review. The campaigners have now requested an oral hearing with the court – a date for which has not yet been set. It is understood this is unlikely to happen before May. 
If the court refuses the hearing, the campaigners will have to apply to the Court of Appeal to review the case. 
A Southern Water spokesman said: “We note the current position. We are committed to working with the local community on this project and bringing unprecedented environmental improvements to this important stretch of the south coast.” 
Proud has argued that the council failed to fully inform its planning committee on issues of odour and site location. The group has said the plant will also be a blight on the local community. 
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