Hertfordshire County Council has said that Veolia will have the final say on a possible appeal into the failed plans for an energy from waste plant in Hatfield.
The council said: “It’s Veolia’s decision whether or not to challenge the Secretary of State’s decision, not ours. They might choose to appeal, or they might prefer to present us with alternative plans. We assume that they’ll need to study the details of the decision before deciding on their next steps.”
Residents have also been told the council will not have to pay Veolia any termination fee after the collapse of the project.
After Communities secretary Eric Pickles turned down the plans on the basis of national green belt policy, Terry Douris, Hertfordshire’s cabinet member for waste management, said: “This is very disappointing news. We urgently need an efficient and cost-effective way of dealing with Hertfordshire’s residual waste that will help us divert the maximum possible amount of waste away from landfill…Doing nothing simply isn’t an option.”
Douris added that the energy recovery facility would have saved residents an estimated £667m over 25 years.
Veolia’s chief corporate officer Robert Hunt said the company was “studying carefully” the reasons given for the refusal of planning consent when the decision was announced.
The company told MRW that it was still examining the documents relating to the plan’s rejection, and would then decide its next course of action.
In the meantime, Hertfordshire County Council has “interim contracts in place to take the waste in the short term”. A council spokesperson said that Hertfordshire has agreed four-year contracts with other companies and local authorities to deal with waste until a new EfW facility is operational.
He said: “Alongside existing arrangements for treatment at the LondonWaste facility in Edmonton, Hertfordshire County Council is now transferring waste to Viridor’s facility at Ardley, Oxfordshire and will, when completed, use the FCC Waste Services Greatmoor energy from waste facility currently under construction in Buckinghamshire.
“The authority will also make use of landfill disposal at Biffa Waste Services Ltd’s Westmill site, near Ware, Herts and at FCC Waste Services (UK) Ltd’s Bletchley, Buckinghamshire and Milton, Cambridgeshire sites.”
He added that these contracts could be extended for a further three years if required.