Incinerator updates – 24 May - 24 June 2012

Listed below are previous updates:

Update 24 June 2012 (HAI activities)

Additional HCC consultation on new images and information from Veolia

Following objections raised Veolia undertook another blimp flying exercise (mainly to assess the impact on the views from Hatfield House). Veolia's consultants used this exercise to create further computer generated images to show the visual impact of their proposed facility at New Barnfield. Although only one appears to be set in the grounds of Hatfield House and hardly surprisingly, given their past performance, it is taken from an angle that shows much less of the incinerator than HAI members and volunteers were able to see on the day of the blimp flight.

Hertfordshire County Council is inviting public comment on the new images and some of the additional information (like noise levels and new traffic figures).

The new information can be seen at County Hall, Hatfield libraries (town centre and Central Resources Library), council offices and library in Welwyn Garden City, and online on

Comments on the new material should be sent to:

By post:

New Barnfield Planning, County Hall, Pegs Lane, HERTFORD, SG13 8DN

By email:

Please note: comments need to be sent in by Friday, 29 June 2012.


Update 24 June 2012

Veolia has submitted some additional views to support its application bid following a second blimp flight at New Barnfield on 25 May 2012.

This revealed the visual impact would be far greater than previous thought with the blimp being visible from the grounds of Hatfield House;  Welham Green and Hatfield railway stations (and to commuters passing between the two); and the playing fields at Briars Lane (where the existing chimney at the site is visible, which is lower than the roof of the proposed dome).

While the 'winter' views submitted by Veolia's contractor do not appear to show the exhaust plume which will be highly visible in cold temperatures as pictures of the incinerator at Edmonton show:

Click here for Edmonton incinerator winter pictures...


In separate developments:

HAI activists who attended the Herts County Council Oversight and Scrutiny Committee meeting, at County Hall on 24 May 2012, reported that they were stunned to hear members of this committee admit that they had not been allowed to see all the documentation on grounds of commercial confidentiality, which rather makes a mockery of the committee's title and purpose.

Around 40 people attended the Community Picnic at Bunchleys Pond on Sunday, 27 May 2012. Before the close Mark Lampert conducted a small group on a guided tour of the New Barnfield and Strawberry Fields hillside.

The Environment Agency wrote to Veolia on 11 June 2012 to ask for further clarification on issues relating to their application for an operating licence.

14 June 2012 – HM Queen Elizabeth II planted a tree and officially opened Jubilee Wood in the grounds of Hatfield Park. The young, native British trees – planted in the shape of the Union Jack – are likely to further add to the sensitivity of the park to pollution from the incinerator.

While a trial being undertaken by Fife, Stirling, Perth and Kinross councils announced on 14 June 2012 will run test collections of items previously thought to be unrecyclable. Used nappies, wet wipes, nappy sacks and cotton wool will be turned into garden furniture, roof tiles and railway sleepers. If successful, it may be rolled out nationally. If that happens it furthers makes it 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 Hertfordshire residents and taxpayers being saddled with an extremely large and expensive, toxic, white elephant.

All of which goes to show why a massive incinerator at New Barnfield is a rubbish idea in so many ways, so if you can please register an objection by the 29 June 2012 cut-off (details in the box above).


Update 24 May 2012 (HAI activities only):


The blimp, indicating the height of the incinerator, is likely to be flying from New Barnfield on Thursday, 24 or possibly Friday, 25 / Monday, 28 May 2012 (local press reports suggest Friday as the most likely). Veolia will be using it as a guide to take photographs to create more photo-montages as additional support for their planning application.

If a similar set up is used to its first 'flight' then the upper pennant (at 75m) will mark the flue height, and the lower pennant (at 42m) will indicate the dome height.

Please take cameras out with you on those days, and take photos of it from your home and other places you visit.

It is likely to be visible throughout Hatfield and Welham Green and beyond.

Please let us know where you can see it from.

We are particularly interested in what the incinerator would look like from:

– Southfield School and other schools

– Historic places – Hatfield House and its park to the south, North Mymms Park, Folly Arch (Veolia have not yet provided montages from these places)

– Also important are the views from homes and gardens, and from recreation areas including footpaths

– Views from a greater distance are also very important (eg. Verulamium, Brocket Hall).



The meeting will be held Ashbourne Room, County Hall, Pegs Lane, Hertford, SG13 8DN.

Some members of HAI will attend this meeting, and supporters may wish to join us. Although the meeting is open to the public you are only allowed to listen, not to speak (but you could ask your councillor to ask questions on your behalf - their contact details can be found on the HCC website).

Herts Without Waste, (an organisation working closely with HAI) has asked the Overview and Scrutiny Committee to look at a number of financial issues connected with the proposal to build an incinerator at New Barnfield.

The committee will decide at the meeting whether they want to add these items to their future work programme of scrutiny.

The Key Issues that could be added to the Scrutiny programme are:

1. Investigation of why the Council is effectively paying an extra £7m up front via other budgets;

2. Costing the option of cancelling the PFI and instead pursuing a "prudential borrowing" route, as Buckinghamshire has done;

3. Calculating the financial liability (in relation to the PFI contract) should the Council be unable to supply sufficient incinerator feedstock;

4. Calculating the financial liability for the Council should the Government follow through on its commitment to correct the market failure by introducing an incineration tax, using sensitivity analysis to consider a range of possible tax options, eg. at £40 per tonne;

5. Clarifying the liability to the Council should residual waste composition change (if there is a composition element specified in the contract);

6. Exploring the financial implications to the Council of higher than anticipated recycling rates being achieved; and

7. Checking whether compensation has been included to the Housing & Communities Agency as the Covenant holder.


3. COMMUNITY PICNIC AT BUNCHLEYS POND – SUNDAY, 27 MAY (13:00 – 16:00 / 1 pm – 4 pm )

Welwyn Hatfield Friends of the Earth are holding a community picnic at Bunchleys Pond, please bring a picnic, a blanket, yourself, friends and family.

There will also be a plant sale and raffle and an opportunity to donate to Hatfield Against Incineration.

Further details from

Bunchleys Pond is immediately adjacent to the site of the proposed incinerator. It is a local beauty spot and fishing pond. From the pond there are attractive walks, especially the Nature-Walk towards Welham Green.

To reach the pond, from the South Way / Travellers Lane roundabout (with the curly bridge) in South Hatfield, start to walk towards Southfield School and the New Barnfield Central Resources Library. After just a few yards, turn right through the open gate (near a doggy-do bin!) and follow the all-weather footpath until you come to the pond. If you're using the footbridge then the opening to the path is to your left at the end of the bridge at the Mitsubishi end.

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