Challenge over incinerator rejection begins today

An artist's impression of the New Barnfield incinerator from the air

An artist's impression of the New Barnfield incinerator from the air - Credit: Archant

Giant waste company Veolia Environmental Services will this week challenge Communities Secretary Eric Pickles in the High Court over his rejection of an incinerator near St Albans.

Mr Pickles refused planning permission for Veolia’s mammoth county waste burner on Green Belt land in New Barnfield, just over one mile from Colney Heath.

The Herts Advertiser understands that while the court will not consider the merits or otherwise of the proposal, the focus will be on the legal basis of the Secretary of State’s decision.

The High Court challenge is scheduled for today and tomorrow.

Mr Pickles made his decision in July this year, in support of a planning inspector’s recommendation following a public inquiry into the contentious incinerator.

A key part of Veolia’s challenge has already been defeated, as a court ruling in October decided that “any other harm” caused by a development does not refer just to the impact upon the Green Belt, but includes other harm.

Reasons for the planning inspector’s rejection of the scheme included harm to the Green Belt and other harm including to the nearby setting of historic Hatfield House.

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Cathy Roe, secretary of Hatfield Against Incineration, said the campaign group “would like residents to attend this important court case”.