SECRETARY OF STATE DECIDES AGAINST
PLANNING PERMISSION FOR INCINERATOR AT NEW BARNFIELD
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.