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Latest NewsPosted by Cathy Sun, October 25, 2015 11:22:01


From Hatfield against Incineration, Herts WithOut Waste, and Welwyn/Hatfield Friends of the Earth



Following the final rejection in Summer 2015 by the Secretary of State of the plan by Hertfordshire County Council and Veolia Environmental Services to put a huge waste incinerator on the New Barnfield site, close to Hatfield and Welham Green, the County Council is looking for a way to deal with “residual local authority collected waste”.

Residual LACW is household waste left after kerbside recycling and composting, the waste that is put by residents in their disposal bins. At the moment it contains plastics and other valuable materials that should be put in our recycling bins.

A recommendation by Herts County Council officers for the way of dealing with residual waste in future was expected this October, but has now been delayed until next Spring. The County Council has received a “Revised Project Plan” from Veolia, which they will compare against other possible methods of dealing with residual waste. Herts CC officers are also conducting a market engagement exercise, inviting suppliers of waste services to suggest ideas on how to deal with the residual waste.

Herts CC will decide whether to terminate the contract with Veolia and adopt an alternative scheme. It seems likely that Veolia’s Revised Project Plan will be for an incinerator somewhere in Hertfordshire, whereas other service providers may come forward to offer a lower cost alternative which is better for our environment and is more flexible.

Meanwhile, Herts CC has interim contracts for dealing with residual waste, partly with companies running incinerators in neighbouring counties.

Cathy Roe of Hatfield against Incineration said, “We urge Herts CC definitely not to put an incinerator on any site in the county. There is already excess capacity for incineration nationally and internationally, and this is why the Government withdrew the financial support (under the PFI scheme) for the New Barnfield incinerator proposal.”

Valerie Dorantt of Welwyn Hatfield Friends of the Earth said, “The way forward is to reduce, re-use and re-cycle until there is very little residual waste to deal with. If any more incinerators are built, they would have to be fed, wasting valuable recyclable materials and adding to airborne pollution.”

John Webb of Herts WithOut Waste said, “We can all help to reduce residual waste by throwing less away and by increasing our recycling and composting, especially by sorting things into the right bins. At the moment a huge amount of food waste is wrongly put in the bins for landfill or incineration. In most areas of Herts currently, food waste should be put in the composting bins. We urge all district councils in Herts in future to collect waste food separately, so that it can easily be used to produce compost to grow more food.”


Note: The Officers’ Report (Residual Waste Treatment Update) was delivered to HCC Community Safety & Waste Management Cabinet Panel on 21 October 2015, and can be accessed from this link

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Latest NewsPosted by Cathy Fri, August 28, 2015 14:36:37


Congratulations to everyone who helped to achieve this victory

Hatfield against Incineration are extremely pleased that Veolia are not challenging the decision against an incinerator at New Barnfield made by the inspector who led the Public Inquiry and two Secretaries of State.

It’s been a very long campaign, since 2009, and we have shown that our united local community can win against Herts County Council and Veolia, who together tried to impose this monstrous, polluting, and expensive incinerator on us.

Now we urge Herts County Council to end their contract with Veolia. Veolia have presented HCC with a secret revised project plan, which is very likely to be an incinerator in another part of Hertfordshire. We urge HCC to realise that they don’t need an expensive and polluting incinerator in this county, as there is massive provision of incinerator capacity in neighbouring counties which can be used until reduce, re-use, re-cycle has been improved so that incineration is not needed.

We now urge HCC to make use of the previously-developed part of the New Barnfield site for purposes which are beneficial to people and do not spoil the natural environment.

HCC has wasted £12 to 13 million of our money on the New Barnfield project, and thousands have had to be spent opposing it. Now HCC needs to start listening to what residents tell them.

This victory is due to the efforts of the whole community working together. Now the community needs to continue to work together to obtain much-needed improvements in Hatfield, to make it the attractive place it could and should be.

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Herts Waste Partnership Meeting - The Circular Economy

Latest NewsPosted by Cathy Tue, July 28, 2015 20:58:57


Val of Wel/Hat Friends of the Earth and Herts WithOut Waste made a short presentation to the Waste Partnership. She spoke of the opportunity now provided to Hertfordshire by the rejection of the New Barnfield Planning Application. She stressed the importance of the Circular Economy, and the need to aim for very little waste needing disposal. She referred to the importance of re-use, as shown especially at the Harpenden household waste recycling centre, and the need for re-branding of the HWRCs to emphasise re-use. She spoke of how the circular economy respects the planet, and also creates jobs. To get the message across, Herts WoW and FoE have plans for a Herts Network, to complement the education work being done by the HWP.

At the meeting, WelHat councillor Helen Bromley again raised the need for costings before alternatives methods of waste management can be assessed. The reply was that there is a WRAP gate-fee document, but different projects using the same technology can have different costs.

Other issues raised were the possibility of the members of the Waste Partnership moving to a more unified system, and the need to share best practice about waste from flats. There was discussion of the increase in fly-tipping in some areas, which could be caused by reduction of hours at the HWRCs, or could be commercial waste. It was stressed that the HWRCs should not close before 6.00 p.m. Stevenage had held an annual Open Day about waste and recycling. 3 Rivers now has separate food waste collection, but has experienced some problems with wild-life getting at the plastic-type and colour of caddy they chose. Wel/Hat has “Cage Days” when a lorry collects large items that might otherwise be dumped. Wel/Hat recycling has now reached 51%.

Simon Aries (Officer of HCC) spoke about the New Barnfield decision. Veolia have 6 weeks to challenge. The Revised Project Plan submitted by Veolia could take 6 months to evaluate, but there will be an update to HCC panels in October, and a potential report to the HCC Waste Panel in March 2015. The RPP has to be similar to the New Barnfield plan, or it would be subject to legal challenge (by firms rejected in the original bidding process). Helen Bromley asked if the RPP involved the same site or something similar on a different site, but Simon Aries said he could not share this information now. Phil Brading (3 Rivers) asked about the possibility of Veolia appealing, and Simon A replied that any challenge must be on process, and the point on which Veolia’s previous challenge succeeded has now been answered by the Sec of State.

On HWRCs it was said that all sites do have re-use containers, but the best is at Harpenden. St Albans is to trial acceptance of commercial waste. A lot of van permits have been issued. A Letchworth survey showed some users going once or twice weekly.

Circular Economy presentation given by Nigel Mattravers, U.K. Head of Waste and Resource Management for WYG. He has worked extensively with the Environmental Services Association (ESA) and the Chartered Institution of Wastes Management (CIWM). He stressed that waste can be a resource. A circular economy can lead to savings, and to reduction of greenhouse gasses. A new Triangle of waste management methods shows Design to Re-cover as best, followed by recycling. There is already some legislation, and retailers can put pressure on suppliers. The EU Directive, giving recycling targets, was withdrawn in July 2014, because Europe-wide targets are too difficult to implement. In August 2015 there is to be a document with more emphasis on materials re-use.

Important in the circular economy are recyclability in design, and simplified labelling of what is recyclable. In future the targets will be for each country, with probably a landfill ban, and a move from weight-based recycling targets to ones based on carbon metrics, because there will be less material for recycling if there is less waste produced. There is a role for Local Authorities in encouraging local re-processing of materials.

In answers to questions, Nigel Mattravers said that materials such as aluminium and textiles take a lot of carbon to produce. He said that organisations procuring products (e.g. paper) should specify they should be recyclable. A member of the HWP said that the circular economy won’t work if driven by economics, it needs regulation and incentives. The Chair, Richard Thake, also spoke of the need for controls, such as making non-recyclable packaging illegal.

The Herts Waste Partnership considered a draft response to the Consultation on the new EU document, to be submitted by Aug 20. Helen Bromley wanted more on prevention of waste.

On the Quarterly Update, there has been an upturn in the price for newsprint. Duncan Jones thinks that recycling across the HWP should reach 50% in 2015/16. Recycling has remained steady despite the economic upturn, when people buy more. There was discussion of 3-weekly collection of residual waste, with weekly food-collection.

Next HWP meeting is October.

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Latest NewsPosted by Cathy Thu, July 23, 2015 17:54:20



This is the message sent by HCC to the local press following the Sec of State’s decision against Veolia’s Planning Application for an incinerator at New Barnfield on July 17th.

Richard Thake, Executive Member for Community Safety & Waste Management said:

“We are very disappointed with the decision. However we had planned for this eventuality and on 7 July received a plan B from Veolia known as the draft Revised Project Plan (RPP).

“All the information in this plan will be carefully considered before we make a decision on the next steps.

“It is essential that we find a cost effective and appropriate solution to disposing of Hertfordshire’s residual waste. This is a very large area of expenditure for the county council, with in the region of £27m spent annually on dealing with over 265,000 tonnes of collected residual waste.

“Despite the excellent collection facilities offered by the districts and boroughs and the services provided by the extensive network of the household waste recycling centres, recent analysis that we’ve carried out shows that on average nearly 50% of the waste that is thrown away by us could be recycled at the kerbside. This is despite campaigns to encourage greater recycling, an expanded range of recycling services provided, as well as greater awareness of the need to think before you throw something away.

“It is therefore critical that we all work together to find a way of reducing these costs by reducing, re-using, recycling and recovering as much waste as possible. Even if we make significant improvements in how we manage our waste, there will still be a need to provide disposal facilities for significant quantities of residual waste and the thorough evaluation of the draft RPP, alongside consideration of alternative options, forms part of that process.

“The county council’s aim is to be in a position, by October this year, to update Members and decide on next steps in what might be a lengthy process.”


In terms of the draft RPP, due to the ongoing commercial and confidential nature of the discussions concerning this draft proposal over the coming months, we concur with Veolia that any disclosure of details would, at this point in time, be counterproductive and premature. We will however keep that decision under review.

In terms of any future appeal about this decision, this would be a matter for the applicant, Veolia.


This was the first meeting of HCC following the Sec of State’s refusal of planning permission for an incinerator at New Barnfield on July 17th.

Council leader Robert Gordon made a very brief (and quiet) announcement of the Sec of State’s decision. He said that HCC wait to see if Veolia will challenge the SoS decision, and that HCC will not reveal the details of the Revised Project Plan which Veolia submitted on July 7th, because of commercial sensitivity.

Maureen Cook, county councillor for Hatfield North, in asking a question, referred to “the brilliant decision by the Sec of State to refuse planning permission for New Barnfield”. She asked if we can be reassured that the same sort of thing as the incinerator plan won’t happen again and that notice will be taken of the views of residents and the importance of the environment. Her question was taken by councillor Tony Hunter (as Richard Thake, who is now Exec Member for Community Safety and Waste Management, was in Spain). He said that Veolia have 6 weeks to appeal. He said there will be a report on Veolia’s “Plan B” to the HCC Cabinet panel in October, and that HCC’s interim contracts to use incinerators in nearby counties continue to 2018, with possible extension to 2021, so HCC do not have to make a quick decision. When Maureen Cook asked how much the rejected incinerator plan had cost, Tony Hunter said he was unable to give the figures.

Paul Zukowskyj, county councillor for Hatfield South, asked Tony Hunter if Robert Gordon’s very brief comment was the verbal update mentioned in the printed report to Council, but Paul was not given any more detail.

In a question about the report on Resources and Performance, Paul Z queried the report’s claim that HCC gains “excellent value for money”, as the incinerator project has cost HCC at least £12 million. Chris Hayward, Deputy Leader of Council, said that the money spent on the incinerator plan was not all wasted, as HCC “have a contract and a process”. Paul Z referred to the huge expenditure on legal fees, which could have been spent on social need (such as the Home Start project which HCC had decided that morning to cut). Chris Hayward said that the administration "has a clear strategy" and "the legal fees were spent out of necessity for that policy and strategy".

HAI are optimistic that, whatever is suggested in Veolia's Revised Project Plan, HCC will decide that building any new incineration capacity in Hertfordshire is not the way forward in waste management, and will recognise that there is now over-capacity of incineration facilities nationally. We will be urging HCC to fully implement "reduce, re-use, recycle" and to have the aim of zero waste - zero to landfill and zero to incineration.

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Latest NewsPosted by Cathy Fri, July 17, 2015 16:15:15



We’ve won! Again! No incinerator at New Barnfield!

On July 17th the Sec of State at the Dept of Communities and Local Govt, Greg Clark, announced his decision against granting Planning Permission for an incinerator at New Barnfield.

This follows a long and sustained campaign by residents and other supporters, since 2009. Congratulations particularly to those people who have continued to work hard on this matter this year, in order to achieve today’s decision.

The Sec of State’s reasons for his decision are very similar to those of former Sec of State, Eric Pickles, in his rejection of Veolia’s Planning Application in July 2014. He has taken note of the recommendations of Inspector Richards, who led the Public Inquiry in 2013. He has taken into account the impact on the Green Belt, Landscape and Visual effects, the effect on the ensemble of heritage assets at Hatfield House and Park, and the effect on the setting and the context of Southfield School (although the school is currently on a different site).

The Sec of State has re-determined the planning application, following the successful legal challenge by Veolia in 2014/2015. Veolia and Herts County Council now have six weeks in which to make an appeal or challenge in the High Court. The Sec of State’s new decision has dealt with the matter raised in the previous challenge. He says there is no certainty that the site would be removed from the Green Belt as a result of HCC’s Waste Sites Plan, because Welwyn Hatfield Borough Council and Herts County Council do not agree on this.

Now we can look forward to a great future for Hatfield, Welham Green, and the surrounding area. The residents have shown that we will fight to protect our people and our environment.

We need Herts County Council to adopt a plan for waste that protects people and environment. They must fully implement their policy of “reduce, re-use, recycle”, and they must aim for higher targets of recycling and composting. If they do this, there will be less and less waste to go to the incinerators in nearby counties that HCC are now using as an interim plan.

We also need Herts County Council to make beneficial use of the previously-developed section of the New Barnfield site; and to decide the future of the Southfield School buildings next to the site, which are now lying empty and wasted.

The campaign against an incinerator at New Barnfield has been long and complex. It has been costly to campaigners, and millions of pounds of residents’ money have been spent unnecessarily by HCC on a plan that should never have been considered. Congratulations to the many, many people who have contributed over many years to defeating the incinerator plan.

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Latest NewsPosted by Cathy Fri, July 17, 2015 13:55:42
Sec of State has now announced his decision against an incinerator at New Barnfield.

Congratulations to all who worked so hard to achieve this.

(More detailed report soon).

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Latest NewsPosted by Cathy Thu, July 16, 2015 18:48:49
We did not receive a decision by the Sec of State on Veolia's Planning Application today, but we now expect to hear the decision tomorrow, Friday July 17th

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Latest NewsPosted by Cathy Fri, July 03, 2015 09:24:20



Following the rejection of Veolia’s Planning Application for an incinerator at New Barnfield by the previous Secretary of State at the Govt Dept of Communities and Local Govt (Eric Pickles) in July 2014, Veolia made a legal challenge, in Aug 2014, which they won, in January 2015. Therefore the Planning Application went back to the Sec of State at the DCLG for re-determination. The current Sec of State at the DCLG is Greg Clark. He will make the new decision on or before July 16th 2015.

NBAF, and other parties who opposed the Incinerator at the Public Inquiry, used the official procedure, in May 2015, and sent in to the Planning Inspectorate our reasons why the incinerator Planning Application should still be rejected. There are even more reasons why it should be rejected now than there were in July 2014.

Now a select number of letters/emails have been sent direct to the Sec of State, Greg Clark, by our M.P. Grant Shapps, and by the Secretary of the New Barnfield Action Fund, Paul Zukowskyj. Some of the organisations which are members of the NBAF are also sending emails.

It is essential at this stage that any direct communication with the Sec of State at the DCLG shows understanding of the exact position now. The points being emphasised are the exact reasons why the previous Sec of State rejected the planning application last July, plus those further changes since then that have strengthened the planning case against it. (For example, Defra’s withdrawal of PFI credits for the incinerator because of lack of need for more incinerator capacity to reduce landfill).

We feel it would undermine the force of our argument to write to the Sec of State at this time about those arguments against the incinerator that were not supported by the Sec of State last July – however valid those arguments may be to residents. So, if any organisation intends to write to Greg Clark, but is not sure of the reasons why the previous Sec of State rejected Veolia’s Planning Application, please contact Paul Zukowskyj for advice.

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