Legal challenge launched against rejection of incinerator near St Albans

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

A controversial waste burner planned for Green Belt land near St Albans is back on the cards after a legal challenge was launched to fight its recent rejection.

Waste firm Veolia has revived its unpopular bid to build a huge incinerator in New Barnfield, just over one mile from Colney Heath.

A spokesman confirmed the company had submitted a statutory challenge to Communities Secretary Eric Pickles’ recent refusal to give planning permission.

It is bound to be a blow for local campaigners, who had celebrated last month after successfully defeating the project for a waste plant at a former school site in Travellers Lane.

The scheme had initially been approved by Herts county council despite attracting 6,300 objections.

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The company submitted a legal challenge yesterday (Thursday) to Mr Pickles’ ruling.

Veolia’s spokesman said: “Having studied the Secretary of State’s decision we believe that current policy and law have been misapplied.

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“We still strongly believe an in-county treatment solution is needed, as his own decision confirms, and we await the outcome of this process.”

However County Hall has backed away from its contractor Veolia’s effort to revive the controversial incinerator plan.

Although the company has a contract with the county council to build and operate a waste plant in New Barnfield, the authority will not join its legal fight.

Cllr Terry Douris, cabinet member for waste management, said: “This is a decision made by Veolia, who have indicated that they will pay for their challenge.

“The county council will not be challenging the Secretary of State’s decision.

“We appreciate that Veolia’s news will cause concerns in the local area and we remain sensitive to these.”

However, councillors will meet in November to consider the authority’s next steps.

Cllr Douris added: “This will include whether to terminate the contract or to ask Veolia to develop alternative plans for diverting Hert’s waste from landfill.”

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