Decision due on Hatfield incinerator schme

PUBLISHED: 18:09 22 October 2012

Protesters gather before the incinerator decision meeting at New Barnfield Incinerator site

Protesters gather before the incinerator decision meeting at New Barnfield Incinerator site

Archant

A WHOPPING 6,300 objections have been lodged against a controversial county incinerator on Green Belt land near Colney Heath, compared to just 10 in support.

Herts county council’s (HCC) development control committee meets this week to decide whether to give the facility the go-ahead, with officers recommending it be accepted.

But angry villagers in Colney Heath have warned they will be seeking a new team of councillors – HCC is Tory-led – should approval be granted on Wednesday, October 24.

Councillors will decide upon Veolia’s application to demolish the Herts Central Resource Library to make way for an incinerator to process 380,000 tonnes of municipal, commercial and industrial waste, at New Barnfield, Hatfield.

Robin Braithwaite, a teacher from Colney Heath, said: “We’re disgusted with our councillors allowing companies to bulldoze over beautiful areas and erect massive and unattractive sites.

“The proposed incinerator is massive and monstrous.”

Robin added: “We have told our councillors that we are totally against Veolia’s plans and if we don’t get the answer we want on October 24, we will carry on the fight and be looking for a new team of councillors. It’s as simple as that.”

Among the thousands of objections to the application was a submission lodged by St Albans district council (SADC).

The proposed incinerator is located to the south of Hatfield but lies close to the eastern boundary of the district.

SADC said that the 40m height of the incinerator dome and 75m high chimney stacks would be visible from surrounding areas including Colney Heath farmland.

It warned the incinerator would be, “apparent from most of the countryside area to the east of St Albans and will even be seen from prominent sites to the north and west of the district over 10km away from the development around Harpenden and Bricket Wood.”

Colney Heath parish council objected to what it described as a “blot on the landscape”.

St Albans Green Party said: “We believe that the county council is not well advised in pursuing this plan.”

St Albans Labour group of district councillors, “objected to the planning application as it will be visually intrusive to the detriment of local towns and villages in both the immediate area and wider afield.”

A HCC officer’s report for next week’s committee meeting said that the impact of sulphuric acid and sulphur dioxide emissions on areas including Colney Heath farm meadows and Sleapshyde gravel pit, both about 1.2 miles away from the proposed plant, was “insignificant.”

Almost 80 per cent of submissions to the scheme were opposed to developing the plant on Green Belt land.

Should approval be granted, it would be subject to it being referred to the Secretary of State, and not being called in.

Anti-incinerator campaigners have urged residents opposed to the scheme to contact their county councillor to voice their opposition. A free bus service has been organised for those wishing to attend the meeting at County Hall in Hertford, but booking is essential. Phone 01707 276066 or email info@routemasterhire.com

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