On August 14th Veolia issued a statutory challenge to the Secretary of State concerning his decision to refuse planning permission for an incinerator at New Barnfield. Herts County Council is not involved in this challenge. The challenge is made by Veolia alone. The Secretary of State’s representatives will defend his decision in court.
Hatfield against Incineration do not know the grounds on which Veolia are challenging the Secretary of State, apart from Veolia’s statement that “having studied the Secretary of State's decision we believe that current policy and law have been misapplied”. We will attempt to find out what the grounds are.
We are pleased that Herts County Council (via County Councillor Terry Douris and Simon Aries, Head of Environmental Operations and Resource Planning) are still saying what they said following the Sec of State’s decision against the incinerator: “ It is proposed that Hertfordshire County Council’s Cabinet will meet in November to consider our next steps. This will include whether to terminate the contract or to ask Veolia to develop alternative plans for diverting Hertfordshire’s waste from landfill”.
Meanwhile, the Planning Long-Stop date will be reached later this August, and Veolia’s proposed incinerator will not have gained planning permission by this date. It is highly likely that the government (Defra) offer of money under PFI to build the incinerator (£200 million) will be withdrawn.
Herts County Council needs now to concentrate on what better waste management methods they will use in future, because the proposed incinerator has been rejected by the Inquiry Inspector and by the Secretary of State. This statutory challenge by Veolia is just a distraction.