Incinerator updates – 20 May - 4 December 2011

Listed below are previous updates:


Update (4 December 2011):

Hertfordshire County Council (Full Council) met on 30 November 2011.

Cllr Malcolm Cowan – Liberal Democrat (Handside and Peartree), tabled a second proposal, supported by the Labour group, to remove New Barnfield from the list of sites on the basis that it was next to a special needs school. Sad to say not all Welwyn Hatfield's representatives supported the motion:

Cllr Sara Johnston – Conservative, Haldens
[Did NOT attend]

Cllr Malcolm Cowan – Liberal Democrat, Handside and Peartree
[Voted and spoke FOR excluding New Barnfield]

Cllr Clare Berry – Conservative, Hatfield North
[Voted and spoke AGAINST excluding New Barnfield]

Cllr Bill Storey – Conservative, Hatfield Rural
[Voted and spoke AGAINST excluding New Barnfield]

Cllr Stuart Pile – Conservative, Hatfield South
[Voted and spoke FOR excluding New Barnfield]

Cllr Richard H Smith – Conservative, Welwyn
[Voted AGAINST excluding New Barnfield]

Cllr Steven Markiewicz – Conservative, Welwyn Garden City South
[Voted and spoke FOR excluding New Barnfield]

Among those speaking AGAINST the motion (apart from two of Hatfield's own Conservative county councillors) were:

Cllr Robert Gordon – Conservative Goffs Oak and Bury Green (and Conservative leader of HCC)

Cllr David Lloyd – Conservative, Dacorum Borough, Bridgewater

Cllr Derrick Ashley – Conservative, Hitchin South (and Conservative chairman of the Waste Management Cabinet Panel)

Cllr Chris Hayward – Conservative,Three Rivers District, Chorleywood

Cllr Ian Reay – Conservative, Dacorum Borough, Berkhamsted


Cllr Martin Frearson – Liberal Democrat, St Albans speaking FOR the motion referred to an alternative technology, vacuum pyrolysis (organic material is heated in a vacuum in order to lower boiling point and avoid unwanted chemical reactions) used to convert waste plastic into diesel, which does not appear to have been considered by HCC (but is being introduced in some other areas – including London.


Vote result: 20 For exclusion; 43 Against exclusion.


Hertfordshire County Council (HCC) committee met on 29 November 2011 to discuss approval of the Waste Sites Allocation document (which recommends New Barnfield as an incinerator site), and the temporary relocation of Southfield School (to help the planning permission process to build the incinerator).

There was no real debate or discussion and the meeting after pretty much rubberstamping the various proposals finished in about an hour.

HAI met early with Cllr Stuart Pile who was the only one to vote against the proposals.


Also held last month was an Independent Examination of Hertfordshire County Council's Waste Strategy by an inspector (Susan Holland of the Planning Inspectorate) appointed by the Secretary of State. Held at County Hall, it started on 15 November and lasted till 25 November 2011 (with a pre-hearing meeting on 29 September 2011). At the time of publishing findings have not been issued.


Veolia Environmental Services have handed in their full planning application in to Welwyn Hatfield Borough Council. It is expected to be made public this week.


The last of the Veolia-sponsored Community Engagement Group (CEG) meetings was held last month.

In total there were 7 meetings:

27 July 2011

17 August

8 September

28 September

19 October

26 October

9 November 2011

There was also a site visit to Veolia's Marchwood facility in Southampton (pictured above) on 16 September 2011.

South Hatfield's County Councillor attended only 4 meetings. No other Hatfield County Councillors attended.

South Hatfield's WHBC Councillor attended only the first (but according to the minutes of the second meeting had asked to send a replacement as meetings were coinciding with council meetings. However, the Veolia supplier running the meetings said they were only willing to accept another elected councillor as a replacement). No other Hatfield Borough Councillors attended.

Hatfield Town Council's representative only attended the first meeting. However, a town councillor did come on the site visit.


At a special meeting of the WHBC Environment Overview and Scrutiny (EOS) Committee on 10 October 2011, it was declared that they intended to refer the Veolia application to the Secretary of State.



Update (25 September 2011): the Hatfield Against Incineration march on Saturday, 24 September 2011, is believed to be the largest demonstration held in Hatfield by residents. Hundreds marched from the High View shopping arcade (Hilltop) to the town centre.

Click here for the Gallery images of the march...



Update (20 May 2011): minutes of the meeting of Hertfordshire County Council's Education and Skills Cabinet, which met at 14:00 on Monday, 16 May 2011, reveal the chilling lengths that HCC is willing to go to force the incinerator on Hatfield.

In a cold, calculated effort to prevent planning permission from being denied on the grounds of disruption to Southfields School (a special needs facility), HCC is preparing to temporarily – for up to 3 years – move the school to the land they own between Woods Avenue and Old Rectory Drive. And they're willing to waste nearly £4m of taxpayers' money in the process.

In the council's own words: "This represents poor value for money for a temporary relocation of a school. It is only being considered in the context of the bigger financial risk of preventing the granting of planning permission for the waste facility."                                       [Agenda Item 6, Point 6.1]

While Agenda Item 7 dealt with the long planned move of the Central Resources Library. Originally, to a purpose-built facility in Welwyn Garden City. While this extravagance may not go ahead, the library is still being moved out of Hatfield, and merged with the Welwyn Garden City library at Campus West. Allegedly, "to provide a central and public presence for the service", even though Hatfield is located on the motorway, and is the seat of learning in the county.

Local MP and Conservative frontbencher Grant Shapps, in a letter to the editor in the local press this week, has proposed raising a £50,000 fighting fund to pay for a legal challenge to overturn the decision to site the incinerator in Hatfield by the Conservative-controlled HCC, which the MP described as "madness" at a public meeting at Welham Green when he was still an opposition MP.

Top ^


Back to: Incinerator update archive


Back to: Hatfield incinerator threat


Copyright © 2009, 2012 D H Markus. All rights reserved. No liability is accepted for the accuracy of information in this site.