Beds, Herts & Bucks

Hoddesdon incinerator: Planning application refused by secretary of state

Rye House site Image copyright Veolia
Image caption The site lies adjacent to an existing gas-fired power station and other waste treatment facilities

A waste incinerator that was also due to provide power to 70,000 homes has been turned down by the government.

Veolia's proposal for the energy recovery facility in Ratty's Lane, Hoddesdon, was agreed in principle by Hertfordshire County Council in 2016.

A public inquiry was held last summer, after the government called in the planning application amid concerns over the plant's size and traffic issues.

The council said it had now been left with a "significant problem".

The facility was designed to treat a maximum of 320,000 tonnes of the county's waste every year, meaning all of Hertfordshire's local authority waste could have been treated in the county instead of transporting it elsewhere.

Local campaigners criticised the location and scale of the plant.

As reported by the Local Democracy Reporting Service, the Communities Secretary, James Brokenshire, has disagreed with the planning inspector's recommendation to approve the application.

'Unacceptable'

In a letter, Mr Brokenshire agreed that an "urgent and pressing need for the proposed facility has been demonstrated" and there was "no obvious alternative site that has been identified".

However, he pointed to parts of Ratty's Lane where HGVs would be unable to pass and other parts were too narrow for an lorry to safely pass a cyclist or pedestrian.

He said these concerns had "not been satisfactorily addressed" and while the inspector found these issues "not ideal", he found them "unacceptable".

He also highlighted significant adverse landscape and visual impacts.

A spokesman for the council said it was "very disappointing" and with 100,000 news homes expected over the next 15 years it left the county with "a significant problem".

"We currently transport hundreds of thousands of tonnes of waste to other parts of the country for treatment which is expensive and bad for the environment," he said.

A Veolia spokesman said: "We are disappointed with the decision and will work with Hertfordshire County Council to consider our options."

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