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Veolia’s Hertfordshire hopes dashed

The decision to deny planning permission to Veolia’s Hertfordshire recycling and energy recovery facility has been upheld by the Department for Communities and Local Government (DCLG).

The site at New Barnfield, above, had previously been rejected in July 2014 by the then communities secretary Eric Pickles, largely based on its position within the Green Belt.

However, in January a High Court ruling forced the DCLG to reassess its initial rejection, which it has now confirmed.

Veolia regional director for the east, Keith McGurk, said the company was still interested in pursuing the project.

“We will carefully review the details of the decision letter before considering any further action, and will continue to work with the local authority as it assesses and evaluates our draft alternative solution for Hertfordshire, which was submitted on 7 July,” he said.

“Veolia’s view is that this is exactly the type of waste infrastructure the UK needs.

“This innovative facility would have extracted further recyclable material from Hertfordshire’s black bag waste before generating electricity for the national grid by treating what remains. It would have supported both local investment and job creation.”

John Dean, leader of Welwyn Hatfield Borough Council, which opposed the scheme, said: “We are pleased that the secretary of state agreed that this site is not suitable for the incinerator.

“The unsuitability of the proposed location in Hatfield has been argued relentlessly by members, officers and residents. I would like to thank everyone who got involved and worked tirelessly to show the strength of feeling that existed within the community.

“We have never been opposed in principle to an energy-from-waste solution to manage the county’s waste, and will continue to work with our county colleagues to look at more appropriate ways of delivering this.”

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