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URGENT - PLEASE HELP CLAIM BUNCHLEYS AREA AS A VILLAGE GREEN

Latest NewsPosted by Cathy Fri, May 29, 2015 11:40:19
URGENT - CAN YOU HELP
TO CLAIM THE BUNCHLEYS AREA AS A VILLAGE GREEN?
CLOSING DATE FOR RECEIPT OF FORMS IS JUNE 12TH

If you can help, please contact Mark Lampert bunchleys@gmail.com

The Bunchleys Area is a piece of attractive green space, with trees, wildlife, and Bunchleys Pond. It is close to South Hatfield and Welham Green. It runs alongside the grounds of the former Southfield School and the New Barnfield former Resources Library site.
You can enter it by the signpost showing the Right of Way all-weather footpath to Bunchleys Pond. This is on the right as you walk from the southern end of the curly bridge at the end of Travellers Lane in South Hatfield towards the former Southfield School and the former Resources Library at New Barnfield.

Many people have used this piece of land for years for activities such as:
fishing, kite-flying, ball-games, dog-walking, taking photographs, drawing, looking at wildlife, and having picnics – small ones or larger organised ones. (Activities such as these are what the legal test of a Village Green calls “lawful sports and pastimes”).

Most of the land is owned by the Homes and Communities Agency & a small section by Herts County Council

A claim for the land to be recognised as a Village Green was submitted in March 2013, led by local community organiser Mark Lampert. Then in February 2014 the Homes and Communities Agency put up signs telling people to keep to the Right of Way footpath.
If you used this land for any periods during the 20 years before the Village Green claim was submitted in 2013, you can help secure it as a Village Green by filling in a form about when and how you used it.
Please contact Mark Lampert bunchleys@gmail.com to obtain a form and for any further information you need, or print off the form from the link below.
A number of people have already filled in a form, and those people do not need to fill in another form.

THE VILLAGE GREEN APPLICATION HAS NOW BEEN ADVERTISED, AND THEN THERE WILL BE A PERIOD FOR REPRESENTATIONS UNTIL JUNE 12TH (Representations will not be treated as confidential). Then the applicant can comment on the representations. Then there will be a decision about how the application will be determined, by Herts CC or by Inquiry.

Please help:
• We have already lost the Resources Library, and the former Southfield School building and grounds are lying wasted and empty, all because of Veolia’s incinerator proposal for the New Barnfield site.
• Now there are written signs on the nearby Bunchleys Area to say we should not go on land that local people have used for generations.
• Please help to claim this land as a Village Green, and so preserve the Bunchleys Area for the use of local people.

Link to map of Bunchleys Area:
https://docs.google.com/file/d/0B-hbHu5UmywRMTRHODVLTVpmRWM/edit
Link to evidence form: https://docs.google.com/file/d/0B-hbHu5UmywRNFRBMEpaM3M3NUk/edit

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UPDATE ON ANTI-INCINERATOR CAMPAIGN MAY 13 2015

Latest NewsPosted by Cathy Wed, May 13, 2015 16:24:06

UPDATE ON CAMPAIGN AGAINST INCINERATOR

DECISION ON PLANNING APPLICATION BY JULY 16TH

The Secretary of State at the Department of Communities and Local Govt is now re-determining Veolia’s Planning Application to build an incinerator at New Barnfield. The decision will be made on or before July 16th.

There is a new Sec of State at the DCLG (Eric Pickles has been replaced by Greg Clark) , but of course the planning officer at the DCLG who has been dealing with the detail of the New Barnfield case is still dealing with it.

The planning application is being re-determined as a result of the success in Jan 2015 of Veolia’s legal challenge to the decision against the planning application made by the Sec of State in July 2014.

The parties who made representations to the 2013 Public Inquiry into the Planning Application have now made further representations, followed by rebuttals of the representations made by opposing parties. The parties are Herts County Council and Veolia for the incinerator; and New Barnfield Action Fund, Gascoyne Cecil Estates (Hatfield House), Welwyn Hatfield Borough Council, Welwyn/Hatfield Friends of the Earth/Herts Without Waste, and Historic England (formerly English Heritage) against the incinerator.

Some legal costs have been incurred by NBAF in making their further representations, and donations would be welcomed (to New Barnfield Action Fund, via Treasurer Neil Robinson c/o Maynard House, Hatfield).

Meanwhile, Herts County Council has said that they will consider three options: an incinerator at New Barnfield if it gets planning permission, an alternative plan from Veolia (which they have until early July to submit), or to break the contract with Veolia and use other waste management solutions. HCC have said they will decide by the end of 2015.

Paul Zukowskyj, Secretary of New Barnfield Action Fund, said, “We know we have very strong grounds for the Secretary of State to reject the incinerator plan for a second time. The residents of Hatfield and Welham Green have had this hanging over them for way too long and we look forward to the SoS finally throwing out this abominable plan."

Cathy Roe, Secretary of Hatfield Against Incineration, said, “We are very optimistic that Veolia’s Planning Application will again be turned down, and we are also optimistic that HCC will adopt alternative methods of waste management that are much better than an incinerator at New Barnfield.”

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UPDATE ON ANTI-INCINERATOR CAMPAIGN MAY 3 2015

Latest NewsPosted by Cathy Sun, May 03, 2015 19:49:32

UPDATE ON ANTI-INCINERATOR CAMPAIGN May 3 2015

The campaign against an incinerator at New Barnfield is unfortunately not yet over, but campaigners are optimistic that it will be over by the end of 2015. At the moment Veolia’s Planning Application is in the process of being re-determined by the Dept of Communities and Local Government (and the Secretary of State).

This has happened because in 2014 Veolia made a legal challenge in the High Court to the decision against Veolia’s Planning Application, a decision which was made by the DCLG and Sec of State in July 2014. Unfortunately, in Jan 2015, Veolia’s legal challenge succeeded, on a legal point about what the Sec of State had taken into account, so the Planning Application went back to the DCLG to be re-determined.

The parties who were represented at the Public Inquiry back in Autumn 2013 were invited in March 2015 to send to the DCLG responses about relevant things that have happened since the decision against the incinerator in July 2014. These parties are: New Barnfield Action Fund, Gascoyne Cecil Estates (Hatfield House), Historic England (previously called English Heritage), Welwyn Hatfield Borough Council, and Welwyn Hatfield Friends of the Earth/Herts Without Waste against the incinerator; and Veolia and Herts County Council in favour of the incinerator. Responses were sent on April 24th 2015. NBAF’s response was checked and amended by our legal team, for which there are some costs, and any donations towards this would be greatly appreciated.

On April 27th 2015 the Public Inquiry Parties were shown all the responses, for and against, and were invited to send in any new points of rebuttal of the other side’s arguments by May 8th. Some members of NBAF are currently working on our response to this. We know that we now have a case against the incinerator even stronger than at the time of the Public Inquiry.

Herts County Council continues to argue for the incinerator, claiming that it is still needed. We say that it is not needed, especially as HCC now has “interim” contracts to send waste to incinerators in nearby counties, and as Defra withdrew the PFI funding for the incinerator on the grounds that it is not needed to fulfil targets of diversion of waste from landfill.

Meanwhile, HCC has said publicly that they have 3 options: to continue with the incinerator if it gets planning permission, to accept an alternative waste plan from Veolia (to be submitted this July), or to break the contract with Veolia. HCC have said that they intend to decide by the end of 2015.

So, whatever the outcome of the Sec of State’s re-determination of Veolia’s Planning Application, Herts County Council can decide not to continue with the incinerator plan.

The political party with a majority on HCC is the Conservatives. The Conservatives at County Hall put forward the incinerator plan, and have continued to push the plan despite many attempts by the County Councillors of Lib/Dem and Labour to persuade them to stop, and despite the sustained opposition of individuals and community groups. It is essential that the Conservative administration at County Hall withdraws the incinerator plan.

Everyone who is opposed to the incinerator should be asking local Conservative councillors and those Conservatives standing for election, what conversations they are having with their fellow Conservatives at County Hall about the need to stop the incinerator plan.



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Can you help claim Bunchleys Area as a Village Green?

Latest NewsPosted by Cathy Sat, April 11, 2015 13:05:49

CAN YOU HELP

TO CLAIM THE BUNCHLEYS AREA AS A VILLAGE GREEN?

If so, please contact Mark Lampert bunchleys@gmail.com

The Bunchleys Area is a piece of attractive green space, with trees, wildlife, and Bunchleys Pond. It is close to South Hatfield and Welham Green. It runs alongside the grounds of the former Southfield School and the New Barnfield former Resources Library site.

You can enter it by the signpost showing the Right of Way all-weather footpath to Bunchleys Pond. This is on the right as you walk from the southern end of the curly bridge at the end of Travellers Lane in South Hatfield towards the former Southfield School and the former Resources Library at New Barnfield.

Many people have used this piece of land for years for activities such as:

fishing, kite-flying, ball-games, dog-walking, taking photographs, drawing, looking at wildlife, and having picnics – small ones or larger organised ones. (Activities such as these are what the legal test of a Village Green calls “lawful sports and pastimes”).

Most of the land is owned by the Homes and Communities Agency & a small section by Herts County Council

A claim for the land to be recognised as a Village Green was submitted in March 2013, led by local community organiser Mark Lampert. Then in February 2014 the Homes and Communities Agency put up signs telling people to keep to the Right of Way footpath.

If you used this land for any periods during the 20 years before the Village Green claim was submitted in 2013, you can help secure it as a Village Green by filling in a form about when and how you used it.

Please contact Mark Lampert to obtain a form and for any further information you need. bunchleys@gmail.com

A number of people have already filled in a form, and those people do not need to fill in another form.

The Village Green application is going to be advertised at the end of April, and then there will be a 6 week period for representations (which will not be treated as confidential). Then the applicant can comment on the representations. Then there will be a decision about how the application will be determined, by Herts CC or by Inquiry.

Please help:

  • We have already lost the Resources Library, and the former Southfield School building and grounds are lying wasted and empty, all because of Veolia’s incinerator proposal for the New Barnfield site.
  • Now there are written signs on the nearby Bunchleys Area to say we should not go on land that local people have used for generations.
  • Please help to claim this land as a Village Green, and so preserve the Bunchleys Area for the use of local people.

Link to map of Bunchleys Area:

https://docs.google.com/file/d/0B-hbHu5UmywRMTRHODVLTVpmRWM/edit

Link to evidence form: https://docs.google.com/file/d/0B-hbHu5UmywRNFRBMEpaM3M3NUk/edit

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UPDATE ON ANTI-INCINERATOR CAMPAIGN MARCH 28

Latest NewsPosted by Cathy Sat, March 28, 2015 09:34:07

HATFIELD AGAINST INCINERATION

UPDATE ON CAMPAIGN AGAINST INCINERATOR AT NEW BARNFIELD

On March 20th the Secretary of State sent a letter to those parties who appeared at the Public Inquiry into Veolia’s planning application to build an incinerator at New Barnfield. Those parties include the New Barnfield Action Fund. (Hatfield Against Incineration is part of the committee of NBAF)

The Secretary of State referred to the quashing of his decision against the incinerator, in Jan 2015, by the High Court, following Veolia’s Legal Challenge.

He invited representations from the parties to the Inquiry on some issues. The issues include:

  • the Herts CC Waste Sites Allocations Plan (in which New Barnfield is an allocated waste site)
  • the updated National Waste Planning Policy of Oct 2014, and the Planning Guidance that supports it
  • any material changes in circumstances, fact or policy since the Sec of State’s decision in July 2014.

Alternatively, the parties can ask for the Inquiry to be re-opened.

NBAF are confident that an incinerator will not be built at New Barnfield. The case against it is now even stronger that at the time of the Sec of State’s decision not to allow it. Also, we know that Herts County Council is going to consider various options, including an alternative waste management plan from Veolia, or breaking the contract with Veolia.

The public do not need to respond to the Secretary of State’s recent letter. At the moment, the most effective action that opponents of an incinerator can take is to do anything they can to persuade the majority of Conservative Hertfordshire County Councillors to abandon their New Barnfield incinerator plan.

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PLEASE RESPOND ABOUT NEW BARNFIELD IN WELHAT LOCAL PLAN

Latest NewsPosted by Cathy Thu, February 12, 2015 09:08:22

CAMPAIGN AGAINST AN INCINERATOR AT NEW BARNFIELD - UPDATE FEB 12 2015

In July 2014 the Secretary of State rejected Veolia’s Planning Application for an incinerator at New Barnfield, but in January 2015 Veolia’s legal challenge to that decision was upheld by the Court on a legal point. So now the matter has returned to the Secretary of State to re-determine his decision (The date when this new decision will be taken is unknown).

We are very optimistic that the Secretary of State will again reject Veolia’s Planning Application, but to demonstrate the continuing strength of feeling in the local area about the New Barnfield site, it would help if you responded to the Welwyn Hatfield Local Plan consultation.

This is an Action you can take now, to ensure that there is never an incinerator or other unacceptable waste management development at New Barnfield

PLEASE RESPOND TO THE CONSULTATION ON WELWYN HATFIELD LOCAL PLAN

Please respond concerning the New Barnfield site, asking for it to stay in the Green Belt, and for the Green Belt boundary not to be altered to take it out of the Green Belt.

The Herts County Council Waste Sites Allocations Plan suggests that local councils take any sites allocated for waste management in that Plan (including New Barnfield) out of the Green Belt at their next review of the Green Belt, but we are asking Welwyn Hatfield Borough Council not to do this at New Barnfield.

The consultation ends March 19th 2015

You can respond on-line www.welhat.gov.uk/localplan

Or by email to localplan@welhat.gov.uk

Or write to Planning Policy, Welwyn Hatfield Borough Council, Council Offices, the Campus, Welwyn Garden City, AL8 6AE.

If you have already responded on other issues, please send an additional response.

Any responses should make it clear that :

This response is to 5. CS4 “Green Belt Boundaries and Safeguarded Land”, paras 5.9 and 5.10, of the draft Local Plan and relate specifically to the New Barnfield site.

You could make these points:

Ÿ I/we object to the suggestion that the Green Belt should be reviewed and/or altered in this area.

Ÿ The site makes a significant contribution to the four Green Belt purposes identified by WHBC in the current review

Ÿ The site contributes to the existing settlement patterns of Hatfield and Welham Green.

Ÿ The site contributes to the setting of Hatfield House.

Ÿ The Green Belt in this area is a ‘green lung’ contributing to environmental and social sustainability.

Ÿ Alteration of the Green Belt would be contrary to Government Policy and to recent Ministerial Statements.

Ÿ WHBC’s duty to co-operate (with HCC) is not a duty to agree.

Ÿ Paragraph 89 of the NPPF allows for development in the Green Belt under certain circumstances.

Ÿ South Way currently provides a strong defensible Green Belt boundary.

Ÿ Redefining the Green Belt boundary would result in an irregular shaped boundary with no strong features.

…………………………………………………………………………………………

For Information

This is the text of paragraphs 5.9 and 5.10 of the draft WelHat Local Plan

5.9 The government applies a similar approach to waste sites; where a local authority’s area contains a high proportion of Green Belt land and an inadequate range of suitable sites outside the Green Belt exist, an authority may, exceptionally, consider a limited alteration to the defined Green Belt boundary to meet a specific and identified need for a waste management facility. The alteration might be to accommodate a site inset within the Green Belt. Where land is removed from the Green Belt, it should be specifically allocated in the Local Plan as a waste management facility site only. This requires careful co-ordination with the Waste Planning Authority (Hertfordshire County Council), the body responsible for the Waste Site Allocations Document (adopted July 2014). It will also require co-ordination with adjoining district planning authorities where sites cross administrative boundaries.

5.10 The Waste Site Allocations Local Plan allocates three sites wholly or partly within Welwyn Hatfield and within the Green Belt. The sites are at Birchall Lane, Cole Green (mostly in East Hertfordshire), Roehyde (mostly in St Albans), and New Barnfield, which is also identified in the Welwyn Hatfield District Plan as a Major Developed Site in the Green Belt. The Waste Local Plan allocations for all these sites lists a range of potential land uses and states that facilities could be small/medium or large scale, creating a degree of uncertainty as to what type and scale of land use could take place. Further, the exceptional circumstances relating to these sites, as acknowledged by the Inspector for the Waste Local Plan, relate solely to the need to make provision for the treatment and transfer of local authority collected waste. Because there is so much uncertainty relating to all these sites, the council will only review Green Belt boundaries once specific proposals and the extent of development are known.

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RESULT OF VEOLIA'S LEGAL CHALLENGE

Latest NewsPosted by Cathy Fri, January 23, 2015 09:01:05
RESULT OF VEOLIA’S LEGAL CHALLENGE TO SECRETARY OF STATE OVER NEW

BARNFIELD INCINERATOR PLAN

On Jan 22nd Justice Holgate handed down his decision concerning Veolia’s

legal challenge to the decision by the Secretary of State in July 2014

that Veolia should be refused planning permission to build an

incinerator at New Barnfield. He decided that “the challenge succeeds,

but only on ground 1. Consequently the decision of the Secretary of

State dated 7 July 2014 refusing Veolia's application for planning

permission must be quashed by the Court.”

This decision is definitely not a decision that the incinerator can go

ahead.

Justice Holgate’s decision was made on just one of the legal grounds put

forward by Veolia, that the Secretary of State’s decision letter against

Veolia’s planning application did not make clear enough that he had

considered fully the consequences of the allocation of the New Barnfield

site in the Herts Waste Sites Allocations Plan, which was approved

shortly after the Sec of State’s decision.

Justice Holgate’s decision could now be appealed by the Secretary of

State, and he could possibly be joined by Welwyn Hatfield Borough

Council. We will know soon if there is to be an appeal.

If there is no appeal, the question of Planning Permission for the

incinerator goes back to the Secretary of State, to make a new decision

on the balance between factors for and against.

The Secretary of State may still refuse planning permission.

There is no time limit on the Sec of State to come up with a new

decision.

Parties opposed to the incinerator are likely to make submissions to the

Secretary of State about a number of factors since his decision that

strengthen the case against an incinerator, such as lack of need (shown

by the withdrawal of PFI funding), and changes in planning policy,

including those that strengthen the Green Belt.

Also, Herts County Council need not necessarily press on with the

incinerator plan, even if approved by the Sec of State. HCC has already

asked Veolia for a Revised Project Plan. The contract states they can

evaluate whether to go with the RPP or the original New Barnfield plan,

even if permission for the incinerator were to be actually granted.

Alternatively, Herts County Council could break their contract with

Veolia (at a cost of £1.2 million, which is not large in terms of HCC

expenditure). Herts County Council already has contracts in place for

“interim” management of the county’s residual waste at incinerators in

Oxfordshire and Buckinghamshire. Herts County Council could decide to

extend these contracts, or to deal with residual waste in alternative

ways.

Hatfield against Incineration are of course disappointed at the January

22nd judgement, especially as it may lead to prolonged effort and

expense by those opposed to the incinerator plan. This judgement is,

however, a setback and not a defeat. HAI expect the New Barnfield

incinerator will never be built.


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JUDGE TO GIVE DECISION IN NEW YEAR ON VEOLIA CHALLENGE TO SEC OF STATE OVER INCINERATOR

Latest NewsPosted by Cathy Thu, December 18, 2014 16:39:35

On Dec 16th and 17th Veolia’s legal challenge to the Secretary of State regarding his decision against giving planning permission for an incinerator at New Barnfield was heard in the High Court. The Judge, Mr Justice Holgate, reserved his judgement until the New Year.

Barrister Zoe Leventhal, for the Secretary of State, defended the Secretary of State’s decision, as did Barrister Wayne Beglan, who represented Welwyn Hatfield Borough Council. Observers from New Barnfield Action Fund and from Welwyn Hatfield Friends of the Earth and Herts Without Waste were in the public gallery.

Veolia’s legal challenge was presented by Barrister Rhodri Price-Lewis. Originally Veolia submitted 6 grounds of challenge, but one was immediately withdrawn. A recent judgement of the Appeal Court had already made that ground invalid.

During the hearing a second ground, that of inconsistency in decision-making, was not pressed.

Of the other grounds, Veolia put most emphasis on their argument that the Sec of State had not taken into account as part of very special circumstances for building an incinerator the fact that the Inspector of the Herts Waste Sites Allocations Plan had endorsed New Barnfield as an allocated waste site. The Waste Sites Allocation Plan was adopted by Herts County Council very soon after the Secretary of State’s decision. The Barristers opposing Veolia’s challenge showed that the Secretary of State did give the proposed allocation of New Barnfield in the Waste Sites Allocation Plan significant attention, and that he referred to it in his decision letter. They pointed out that the allocation of New Barnfield as a waste site has many limitations on what could be built there, particularly regarding the size and visual impact of any waste facility.

Campaigners remain optimistic that Veolia’s challenge will not be successful.

Even if Veolia’s challenge was to succeed, this would not mean that Veolia’s proposed incinerator could go ahead. The decision on Veolia’s Planning Application would then be referred back to the Secretary of State to reconsider, and he could again reject it. A number of factors since the Public Inquiry have strengthened the case against Veolia’s proposed incinerator. These factors include the Government’s withdrawal of PFI credits to finance it because of lack of need for more incinerator facilities.

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