Incinerator updates – 21 March - 6 May 2012

Listed below are previous updates:


Update 6 May 2012:

The Environment Agncy's consultation on Veolia's application for an operating licence for an incinerator / Energy from Waste (EfW) plant at New Barnfield closed on Wednesday, 25 April 2012.

Meanwhile, Hertfordshire County Council (HCC), which received Veolia's planning application for the facility on 15 November 2011 (with the public consultation ending on 31 January 2012), has apparently received the feedback from the statutory consultees (who had longer to respond).

The Hatfield Against Incineration (HAI) objection document ran over 50 pages; WHBC around 18. Particularly encouraging was the objection from Gascoyne Estates (Hatfield House management company), which contacted English Heritage who have also lodged an objection. Of particular note was the information that although the company Veolia hired to carry out a study into the visual impact were offered free access to Hatfield House they apparently chose not to take pictures from the upper floors (instead, in one case, from behind a wall and closed gate). Hatfield Park also has Grade I listed status and contains some ancient specimens of Oak and other trees which are likely to be far more sensitive to air pollution from the incinerator emissions and the impact of the HGV movements in and out of it.

Based on the feedback HCC commissioned their own experts to review Veolia's Environment Statement and wrote to Veolia, with a copy of the report, on 10 April 2012 requesting additional information / clarifications.

On Easter Monday, 9 April 2012, In a front page article by John Simpson in The Times, titled 'National revolt hits plans to burn waste' (subtitled 'Consulted and ignored, town halls fight back'), Hatfield featured prominently. It revealed that there are 30 EfW incinerators in the UK and 80 are believed to be planned.

If, as suspected, HCC is hoping to enter the commercial waste disposal market with Veolia then they really need to reconsider the viability of this scheme. Not least of all, because Veolia is involved with developing proposals for a 'rail-linked power station' at a site in Hoddesdon (Fieldes Lock) on behalf of the seven north London boroughs that make up the North London Waste Authority (NLWA).

Additionally, the remaining London Waste Authorities (East London – Barking & Dagenham, Havering, Newham and Redbridge; West London – Brent, Ealing, Harrow, Hillingdon, Hounslow, and Richmond-upon-Thames; and South London – Croydon, Kingston, Merton and Sutton) all appear to have developed or are developing their own facilities.

 Interestingly, South London Waste Authority has signed up Viridor to develop a new energy recovery facility at Croydon even though Veolia has its existing 420,000 tonne SELCHP ERF (South East London Combined Heat and Power Energy Recovery Facility) at Deptford.

In short, it seems unlikely that there will be enough waste to fuel all the existing and planned incinerators and other waste facilities (including recycling plants), which could mean councils – or rather taxpayers – tied in to supply a guaranteed tonnage of waste end up paying penalties rather than earning profits.

Further information (please note: these URLs are not active links, so you will need to copy and paste them into your browser window):

HCC request for further info

Statutory Consultee and Interested Parties responses

North London Waste Authority

East London Waste Authority

West London Waste Authority

South London Waste Authority



Update 13 April 2012

The planned demonstration at the second Environment Agency drop-in session planned for 19:00 (7 pm) on Thursday, 22 March 2012, did not take place.

This was due to Beale's Hotel management expressing concern for their guests, and asking the Environment Agency to close at 15:00. HAI decided it was more important that local people had the opportunity to discuss the issue with the EA and called off the planned demonstration.

The Environment Agency (EA) consultation on Veolia's application for an operating licence for an incinerator at New Barnfield, originally scheduled to close on Wednesday, 18 April 2012, has been extended to close on Wednesday, 25 April 2012.

Ironically, it seems the EA only considers the incinerator in isolation. Background levels of air pollution and traffic congestion – ie. the environment in which the incinerator will operate – apparently is NOT taken into consideration when deciding whether or not to grant an operating licence. While this may be the law it certainly flies in the face of common sense.

In separate developments, on 4 April 2012, archaeological exploratory trenches were excavated on the temporary site for Southfield School (between Woods Avenue and Old Rectory Drive). This was in order to comply with the conditions of planning permission.

However, even though the Secretary of State, Eric Pickles, cleared Hertfordshire County Council to grant planning permission for the temporary move of Southfield School, following legal advice, it was announced on 10 April 2102 that the New Barnfield Trust will be launching a legal challenge (the fact that the  Secretary of State did could be a bad sign for those pinning their hopes on him overturning the planning permission for the incinerator).

New Barnfield Trust will be seeking a judicial review of HCC's decision to treat the temporary (allegedly) move of Southfield School in isolation and not as part of the overall incinerator planning process. Given that the move is solely due to the incinerator it appears to be a blatant attempt by HCC to influence planning permission for it by effectively removing a major obstacle.


HAI planned activities box:

1.  Environment Agency public consultation – closes Wednesday, 18 April 2012 (deadline extended to Wednesday, 25 April 2012)

HAI will be publishing ideas for responses to EA formal consultation on their website (details and links below) once supporters have had time to go through the documents.

Information can be found on the EA website (

Objections can be sent by email to:

Or mail to: PSC-EP Team, Quadrant 2, 99 Parkway Avenue, Sheffield, S9 4WF.

Please quote the application reference number:
EPR / MP3637FL / A001

The EA wants your comments on 6 points:

1. Veolia's proposals to prevent or minimise emissions (including noise and odour) from the incinerator.

2. Veolia's proposals that the activity will not cause harm to the environment.

3. Veolia's proposals that the activity will not cause harm to human health.

4. Local factors – like local sensitive environmental features (high traffic volumes / emissions) – that Veolia have not considered in the permit application which you believe should be taken into account.

5. Veolia's proposals about the necessary measures that will be taken to prevent accidents and limit their consequences.

6. Any other factors you believe the Environment Agency should take into account before deciding whether or not to grant an operating licence.



Update 21 March 2012:

Sadly, the Department for Communities and Local Government (DCLG) after a brief look did not call in or link the Hertfordshire County Council (HCC) decision to allegedly temporarily move Southfield School. Even though HCC documents show the move of the school is linked to the incinerator (see 6 March 2012 update for details). Opinion appears to be divided as to whether this is a positive sign that DCLG is taking an active interest in the incinerator at New Barnfield or a negative one that they deliberately passed up an opportunity to put a halt to a plan that poses such a dire threat, particularly to the future of both Hatfield and Welham Green which will be the two worst affected areas as they are the closest.

HCC Waste Sites Allocation consultation closed on Monday, 19 March 2012.

Details on the Environment Agency (EA) consultation on Veolia's application for an operating licence for an incinerator at New Barnfield are given in the box above.

This consultation lasts till Wednesday, 18 April 2012. It includes two drop-in sessions at Beale's Hotel, Hatfield, and campaigners are planning on holding a demonstration at the second one at 19:00 (7 pm) on Thursday, 22 March 2012.


HAI printed leaflets giving advice on how to oppose the use of New Barnfield and volunteers are delivering them to houses throughout Hatfield, Welham Green, Brookmans Park, and Colney Heath.

Copies of this leaflet can be found on the HAI blog site or via the link below (Please note: this is a Word 97 file).

HAI waste site allocation consultation briefing and response form

Objections can be sent by email to:

Or mail to: Spatial and Land Use Planning, CHN216, County Hall, Pegs Lane, HERTFORD, SG13 8DN

Or respond online via through HCC's website (there is a link at the bottom of the page to an online form but you will be restricted to 3,900 characters):

Or via HCC dedicated consultation site:

Or handed in, by Friday, 16 March 2012, to the addresses given on the HAI leaflet (link above).


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