The controversial plans for a waste incinerator at Allerton Park look set to go ahead after it was announced the scheme will not face a public inquiry.
The Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government will not call the case for an independent planning inquiry, a North Yorkshire County Council spokesman has confirmed.
The news has been met with anger from campaigners against the scheme.
Bob Schoefield of the North Yorkshire Waste Action Group (NYWAG) said: “We are naturally displeased, if not appalled, at Eric Pickles’ failure to take into account the views of Harrogate area residents.”
The group had urged its hundreds of supporters to write to the Secretary of State after the initial planning application was approved by NYCC in October, asking him to call the case in for an independent public inquiry.
“But we will not be giving up,” Mr Schoefield added.
NYWAG is “well prepared” to take the case through the courts, and believe EU competition laws could stop plans.
The group has taken the case to the Local Government Ombudsman, Mr Schoefield said.
County Coun Paul Richardson, who has been involved in the campaign against the incinerator scheme, said he reacted to the announcement with “utter despair”.
“All of the MPs in this area said they were against the scheme. I am shocked and disappointed their opinions haven’t counted,” he said.
“Everybody expected an independent inspector would make the decision on this case In times of austerity when there are vicious government cut backs, it is ridiculous to go ahead with a project of this size when there is no need for it.”
The decision to approve AmeyCespa’s application was made in October by an NYCC committee and now can be progressed, a spokesman said: “The Council will now continue its negotiations on the final contract with AmeyCespa. Council members will be asked to consider the contract and confirm the project remains affordable. This is likely to take some weeks or months.”
If councillors agree, AmeyCespa can start to build the facility which is expected to be operational from mid-2016.