The incinerator threat to Hatfield

Thursday, 28 April 2011 is a date which will go down in Hatfield's history as a day of infamy – it was the day Hertfordshire County Council, led by Robert Gordon (Waste Management Committee led by Derrick Ashley), announced the decision to site the incinerator at Hatfield ('coincidentally' the day before the Royal Wedding). This decision by the Conservative-controlled council will blight the town for at least a generation, and undermines the town centre and south Hatfield regeneration projects – although that hardly seems a priority it is claimed to be by the Conservative-controlled Welwyn Hatfield Borough Council, led by John Dean, as their spending record shows.

According to a leaflet sent out by Veolia, the containment dome surrounding the incinerator will be around 41m high with a diameter of 150m long and 170 m wide (it will be an oval shape). The Millennium Dome / O2 is around 50m high with a diameter of 320m (height of the twin stacks has yet to be confirmed but is expected to be around 75m). So the New Barnfield oval-shaped dome will be nearly as high as the Millennium Dome and over half as wide (at its widest point) – and built on one of the highest points in Hatfield. 

The campaign against the incinerator continues as the process now moves to the Planning stages. Please see HAI planned activities and situation updates below.


Marchwood incinerator, Southampton

Veolia's Marchwood incinerator, Southampton, is the model to be used for the proposed incinerator at New Barnfield. With a height of 36m, twin 65m chimneys and a diameter of 120m, it is smaller than the one proposed at New Barnfield.


Veolia Community Engagement Group visit minibus by entrance

The minibus used for the Veolia Community Engagement Group visit next to the entrance gives an idea of the scale of the incinerator dome.


Marchwood incinerator and gas-fired electricity substation

According to the briefing given a Veolia Projects Director, the National Grid substation built across from the incinerator was built after the incinerator.


Hatfield Against Incineration – planned activities

Updated: 26 April and 23 May 2013 (combined)

1. Preparations for the Public Inquiry (Commences Tuesday, 10 September 2013

On 24 April 2013, the four 'Rule 6 parties' opposed to the incinerator submitted their Statements of Case to the inspector who will lead the Inquiry.

The four 'Rule 6 parties' opposing the incinerator are:
• New Barnfield Action Fund (NBAF)
• Welwyn Hatfield Borough Council
• Gascoyne Cecil Estates / Hatfield House
• English Heritage

NBAF represents Hatfield Against Incineration, North Mymms Green Belt Society, WHBC, and Hatfield Town Council, and is chaired by Grant Shapps MP.

Much work has been done on the NBAF Statement of Case by the Secretaries of NBAF and HAI, Paul Zukowskyj and Cathy Roe, with assistance from UKWIN (UK Without Incineration Network), and the NBAF legal team.

NBAF still needs to raise more money to pay for our legal team. Please send donations to Treasurer, Neil Robinson, c/o Maynard House, The Common, Hatfield, AL10 0NF.

You may have read the good news that WHBC has recently agreed to spend £125k on opposing the incinerator. This is to fund WHBC’s own legal representation as a separate Rule 6 party. It is not a further contribution to NBAF, which still needs more funding.

The Rule 6 parties presenting the case for the incinerator will be Herts County Council and Veolia.


2. PRE-INQUIRY MEETING AND DEMONSTRATION – Thursday, 6 June 2013, at the Fielder Centre, Hatfield

A demonstration is planned before the meeting (which starts 11:00  at the Fielder Centre, Hatfield Avenue, Hatfield Business Park, AL10 9TP), starting at 10:15. Protesters are asked to bring banners and placards.

At the meeting the independent inspector will explain, to the Rule 6 parties and other interested people, the exact procedure of the inquiry to be held in September. There will be room for 100 in the public gallery, and there will be an over-flow room.

Campaigners are urging residents and councillors to attend the protest and meeting, to show the continuing strength of opposition to the incinerator proposal.



If you or your organisation is an authoritative expert in any of the topics that NBAF will be raising in opposition to the incinerator at the Inquiry, and you think you could be an effective cross-examined witness, please contact Paul Zukowskyj or Cathy Roe to discuss this possibility. (You can contact us through info@hatfield-anti-incineration.co.uk)

The topics include:

• Harm to the Green Belt
• Impact on wildlife, including protected species (newts and bats)
• Alternative possible sites
• Harm by visual intrusion, including on heritage sites
• Harm by traffic noise, pollution, congestion and danger
• Harm by loss of amenity (Southfield School, Resources Library, other amenity areas affected eg footpaths, cemetery, planned sports ground)
• Harm from ground instability
• No over-riding need for a facility of this size, centralised in Herts, on this site.
• Insufficient wider environmental benefits to outweigh harm
• Insufficient wider economic benefits to justify harm.



Please send a representation to the inquiry, as an individual, or from an organisation to which you belong.

If you have objected to Veolia’s Planning Application before, please tell the inspector your objection still stands.

If you have not objected before, please do so now.

You probably sent objections to Veolia’s Planning Application during Dec 2011- Jan 2012. These objections will all go to the Planning Inspector. However, you are now invited also to send further comments.

The simplest way to respond is to say: "I / We still stand by the comments that we / I made in response to the Planning Application (and also to the Waste Site Allocation consultation or any other relevant consultation you have responded to).You can also add more comments on additional points that you would now like to raise.
We suggest that you look at HAI’s Outline Case and select one or two points that are particularly important to you and your family, or to your organisation, perhaps because issues would affect you personally, or because you have particular knowledge of an issue. It will not be useful to the inquiry just to copy the whole of HAI’s list of points.

Submission to Planning Inspectorate by computer

If you wish to respond using the computerised system,

1. Go to http://www.pcs.planningportal.gov.uk/pcsportal/casesearch.asp

2. Type in the Case Reference '2192045'
and Local Planning Authority 'Hertfordshire County Council'

3. On the 'Case Search Results' page, click on the Case Reference Number

4. On the Case Summary page, click on 'comment on this case' and insert your details and your comment, as an interested party / person.




Submission to Planning Inspectorate by mail.

Post your comments to Leanne Palmer, with three copies.

The Planning Inspectorate
3/02 Kite Wing
Temple Quay House
2 The Square

Please give the Case Reference Number: 2192045.

PLEASE SEE OUR WEBSITE. UPDATES ARE IN THE BLOG SECTION www.hatfield-anti-incineration.co.uk

Please note: information appearing in this box is supplied by Hatfield Against Incineration and does not necessarily reflect the views of the site editor.


HAI needs volunteers and helpers further information (including updates about the progress of Veolia's Planning Application and of the Herts Waste Strategy) can be found on HAI websites:



Email: info@hatfield-anti-incineration.co.uk

This can be defeated if everyone plays their part.

Please see below for a situation update (please note this is produced by the site editor and does not necessarily reflect the views of HAI).


Update 4 June 2013

There have been a number of significant developments over the last few months:

23-24 January 2013 – The Environment Agency hosted public drop in sessions at the Sir William Cecil Memorial Hall as part of their consultations into granting an operating licence for the HCC-Veolia New Barnfield incinerator. On the last day (Thursday 24), HAI organised a demonstration outside.

Monday, 28 January 2013 – Secretary of State Eric Pickles 'calls in' the HCC-Veolia New Barnfield incinerator ie. he ordered a public inquiry (later confirmed as starting on Tuesday, 10 September 2013 and would last twelve working days (as it would have a 4-day working week it will run for three weeks).

Saturday, 16 February 2013 – HAI organised a protest demonstration on Woods Avenue, in front of the 'temporary' relocation site for Southfields School as HCC, in an apparent bid to influence the outcome of the inquiry, proceeds with changing the realities on the ground at a cost of millions for taxpayers.

Also in February came the news that Bunchleys Pond had been granted 'village green' status by the Homes and Communities Agency. The culmination of some hard work particularly by Mark Lampert.

Thursday, 7 March 2013 – following a successful petition, supported by HAI, Mick Bee of Herts Without Waste addressed a meeting of HCC's Waste Management Panel and presented his findings that questioned the accuracy of the data they were using in their decision making.

Tuesday, 9 April 2013 – The Environment Agency announced it was granting an operating licence for the HCC-Veolia New Barnfield incinerator.

Thursday, 25 April 2013 – the blimp was spotted flying again. Apparently as a further exercise to gauge the visual impact on Hatfield House. However, it could not be considered an accurate measure after leaf fall as many species of tree were not only in leaf but were flowering.

Thursday, 2 May 2013 – Local elections for the three Hatfield Herts County Council seats. Of the three Conservative HCC councillors that disgraced themselves by not supporting their electorates in the fight against the incinerator, only Stuart Pile was rash enough to stand again. Claims in his election material that he was an early champion of the anti-incineration movement were rebutted by HAI and others. In the end he lost his Hatfield South seat to genuine anti-incinerator champion Dr Paul Zukowskyj (however, voter apathy meant it was by a narrow margin). The Conservatives also lost Hatfield North to Labour. They retained Hatfield Rural with a fresh candidate who claimed to be anti-incinerator in his election material.


In other news:

The amount of incinerator fuel likely to be available was further reduced when it was revealed that North Herts would be introducing plastic recycling.

Plastic recycling to come to North Herts - Wednesday, January 30, 2013



There are likely to be significant financial costs if the HCC-Veoila incinerator is refused planning permission (however, given the costs of PFI funding and the financial penalties payable if HCC cannot provide enough refuse it still may be a bargain for taxpayers)

"Abandoning plans for an incinerator near King's Lynn could see termination fees of up to £90m, a Norfolk County Council report has warned.

If planning permission is refused contractors Cory Wheelabrator could be awarded up to £20.3m in compensation.

The cost of "withdrawing" the contract would be "significantly higher", said a county council spokesman."




The harmful effects of air pollution continues to creep up the political agenda with a successful court case brought against the UK Government by ClientEarth.

"In all, nearly half a million of the half-billion citizens of the European Union die a premature death each year because of the air they breathe, according to the European Environment Agency (EEA), an official EU organization...

Critics complain that successive governments have done too little to combat toxic air, which they say is Britain's biggest killer after smoking. It causes 29,000 early deaths a year in a country of 63 million, says the Committee on the Medical Effects of Air Pollutants, which advises the government...

Almost one in three city-dwellers in the European Union was exposed to excessive concentrations of airborne PM in 2010, mostly caused by traffic, industry and fuel-burning, the EEA said recently, citing EU limits. Using tighter WHO standards, almost every city dweller in the bloc faces dangerous exposure...

The WHO said last year diesel exhaust fumes can cause cancer and belong in the same deadly category as asbestos, arsenic and mustard gas..."



Click here for previous updates...


Edmonton incinerator seen from pedestrian bridge across the North Circular

The Edmonton Incinerator (officially called LondonWaste EcoPark, N18 3AG) seen from a pedestrian bridge across the North Circular.

Click here for more pictures...



Why this matters – the likely impact on Hatfield

If a large scale incinerator was given the go-ahead it would be catastrophic for Hatfield's future development (not least of all the long-awaited new town centre and Hilltop redevelopment projects).

Click here for more on the impact on Hatfield...


Click here for detailed objections to the incinerator...



Why this matters – the likely impact on Hertfordshire

The contract to run the plant is expected to be for 25-30 years. Even if evidence is found within a couple of years that lead to its closure people in Hertfordshire would still have to pay for it. And that's not all.

Click here for more on the impact on Hertfordshire...



The waste of waste

Why are we spending scarce resources producing things to throw away, and why isn't more being done to stop it? Then we wouldn't need to worry about incinerators.

Click here for more on the Waste of waste...



Confusing science or smokescreen?

There are a lot of confusing claims and counterclaims in the incinerator debate. This is a closer look at the various arguments and a reminder of a similar case not so long ago.

Click here for more on the scientific arguments...



Murphy's Law and incinerator malfunctions

The official scientific position by the Health Protection Agency is that well-managed incinerators should be safe (but they won't guarantee it). History suggests that they are not.

Click here for more on things that could go wrong...



New Barnfield – a symptom of a deeper problem?

The decision to select New Barnfield and the original decisions relating to moving the Central Resources Library and The Park Education Support Centre appear to be signs of a deeper problem affecting Hatfield.

Click here for more on New Barnfield...



Hatfield Against Incineration (HAI) – Hatfield's last best hope – and what you can do to help

All is not lost. Proposed incinerators have been defeated by public opposition. Hatfield Against Incineration is a cross-party group of local people and environmentalists which is leading opposition to the plans. You don't have to join them to help.

Click here for more on Hatfield Against Incineration...



Please note: it was intended to avoid covering political and contentious issues on this site at least until the historical research was completed (given the depth and scope of Hatfield's history that is likely to take some years). However, the threat posed by the incinerator is simply too serious not to be highlighted.

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