Hertfordshire County Council plan to build a 380,000 tonnes per year waste incinerator on the New Barnfield site in South Hatfield, close to Welham Green.
This incinerator is massively opposed, because of the effect it would have on people and on the environment. The impact would be particularly strong in Hatfield, Welham Green and Colney Heath, but there would also be negative impact, especially visual impact and the health-effects of emissions, over a very wide area.
The incinerator would burn domestic waste from Hertfordshire, plus commercial and industrial waste from anywhere in order to use the enormous capacity, and also clinical waste.
Herts CC have made a contract with Veolia Environmental Services to build this incinerator, subject to planning permission. A Planning Application was made by Veolia in December 2011, and 6300 responses were sent to Herts County Council by the closing date of January 31st 2012. Veolia’s Planning Application was approved by a majority of the Development and Control Committee of HCC on Oct 24th 2012. This decision then went to the Secretary of State at the Department of Communities and Local Government. The Secretary of State called-in Veolia’s Planning Application on Jan 28th 2013, and there will now be a Public Inquiry, led by an independent inspector, probably in Sept .
The application was opposed not only by thousands of residents both local and from wider in the county, but also by Welwyn/Hatfield M.P. Grant Shapps, Welwyn Hatfield Borough Council, Hatfield Town Council, local Parish Councils, North Mymms Green Belt Society, and many other local organisations. It was also opposed by important national Statutory Consultees, including English Heritage.
Although Herts CC are in the process of procuring an incinerator, they have not yet had approval from the Planning Inspectorate for their overall Waste Strategy. The first section, the Waste Core Strategy, had final HCC approval on Nov 5th 2012. The second section, the Waste Sites Allocations Document, went out to public consultation in Spring 2012, and 2000 objections were made to the inclusion of New Barnfield as a waste site, a site with potential for waste management including “thermal treatment” (i.e. incineration). HCC have now altered the document to some extent, but have not removed New Barnfield from the list of possible waste sites, a site with potential for incineration. HCC conducted another Public Consultation on Waste Site Allocations in Nov/Dec 2012, and 2317 objections were made to the use of New Barnfield as a waste site. Please respond to the Public Consultations and join other campaigning activities. The news blog on this website carries the latest news, information and copies of our latest leaflets.
“Hatfield Against Incineration” is a non-party-political group founded by residents of Hatfield and Welham Green. The campaign against an incinerator at New Barnfield is supported by Welwyn-Hatfield M.P., Grant Shapps (Housing Minister), Welwyn-Hatfield Borough Council, Hatfield Town Council, and by some Hertfordshire County Councillors (Labour, Lib-Dem, Green and some Conservative county councillors). We are also supported by environmental groups throughout the county, including Herts WithOut Waste, Transition Town Movements, and Friends of the Earth.
INCINERATION IS THE WRONG WAY TO DEAL WITH WASTE
for the following reasons:
1. There is not enough non-recyclable and non-compostable domestic waste to feed an incinerator now, and there will certainly not be enough in 25 years time. A scheme for waste treatment must allow for the increase in recycling and decrease in production of waste (such as packaging) that will happen in the future. The Herts incinerator scheme assumes a low rate of recycling and would be a disincentive to improving recycling.
2. An incinerator would be expensive - £220 million to build, using expensive PFI funding, and £1.3billion to run. This cost needs to be compared not to landfill, which will stop, but with environmentally-friendly methods, which are cheaper. These costs have to be paid for by residents through council tax.
3. An incinerator would waste valuable resources such as paper and plastics.
4. Incinerators create C02, which contributes to global warming.
5. Incinerators create emissions that many scientific researchers know to be harmful to health.
6. Incinerators create dangerous toxic fly ash, which has to be landfilled on a specially licensed site, and which has to be transported there.
7. The modern alternative to incineration is to aim for zero waste, with anaerobic digestion and composting being used for biodegradable waste, with most other materials being recycled. Some landfill can safely be used for inert materials, and landfilling these does not carry a heavy penalty.
8. An incinerator would make a huge impact on one area. It would create many thousands of unnecessary lorry movements, all causing pollution.
THE NEW BARNFIELD SITE IS NOT SUITABLE TO BE A WASTE SITE
And these are some of the reasons:-
1. An incinerator here would be right next to Southfield School for primary-age children with special needs, and heavy traffic would pass the school, causing noise and pollution.
2. An incinerator here would be on the same narrow access-road as a Tesco Depot, which already has lorries every few minutes, so traffic chaos would be caused.
3. The site is very close to housing and a recreation ground, which would be affected by traffic noise and fumes.
4. The site is in the Green Belt, a narrow strip preventing the merging of Hatfield with the village of Welham Green.
5. There is a Covenant on the land, restricting its use to libraries, schools and similar amenities. Herts CC would have to over-ride this Covenant.
6. The site is next to a wild-life site with a Countryside Management Services Nature-Walk. Many rare birds can be seen here. There is another wild-life site actually on New Barnfield.
7. A cycle-path, part of the Great North Way, runs along the edge of the site.
8. Immediately next to the site, and actually on the site, are ponds containing great-crested newts, a protected species which it is illegal to disturb.
9. Visual intrusion would affect a very wide area from this high site. A close view would be seen from the cemetery, and by residents of Welham Green and Hatfield.
10. Emissions from the stack would spread over a large area, including the grounds of nearby historic Hatfield House.
11. The site is not empty. The Central Resources Library (a lending and reference library) would have to be moved or closed. This amenity would be lost to Hatfield and to the county.