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Duty to co-operate row rumbles on

North London councils have defended their waste plan after calls to demonstrate compliance with the duty to co-operate.

Barnet, Camden, Enfield, Hackney, Haringey, Islington and Waltham Forest councils say that there is nothing in the Localism Act, which introduced the duty to co-operate, stating it must be applied retrospectively.

The councils argue that a significant amount of work on the plan had already been carried out over several years before the act came into force last November.

The five councils have responded following the suspension in June of a planning inquiry into the North London Waste plan which outlines potential sites for waste facilities.

Neighbouring councils, which will receive much of the landfill, were represented by the South East Waste Planning Advisory Group and the East of England Waste Technical Advisory Body, have claimed they were not adequately consulted on the plan.

Halting the inquiry, the planning inspector said more time was needed to consider the objections and called on the North London councils to demonstrate they had fulfilled their duty to co-operate.

In their response the London councils also argue that sites at several of counties have historically been used for landfill and that no objections had been raised during the formulation of the plan.

They also said that they consulted constructively throughout the five and half year formulation of the plan.

If the councils are found to have failed to adequately consult on the proposals, the waste plan could have to go back to the drawing board.

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