Veolia drops Energy-From-Waste plant plans

The waste management company Veolia has dropped plans to build an Energy-From-Waste plant in Hertfordshire, after the Government rejected the plans for the second time.

Communities Secretary Greg Clark refused planning permission for the facility in New Barnfield in July after three years of legal wrangling and disputes.

The plant was originally granted planning permission by Hertfordshire County Council in 2012, but the Department of Communities and Local Government overturned the local authority’s decision in July 2014.

The-then Communities Secretary Eric Pickles said it would not be appropriate to build this sort of development on Green Belt Land.

Veolia then challenged Mr Pickles’ decision and in January this year, when the High Court overturned the government’s decision.

"Following a legal review of the decision made by the Secretary of State in July to refuse planning permission for the New Barnfield Recycling & Energy Recovery Facility and after consideration by our Board, Veolia will not seek to further challenge that refusal,” said a spokesman for Veolia.

"However, we remain committed to providing a solution to meet the needs of the Authority so, in accordance with the terms of our Contract, we submitted a draft Revised Project Plan (RPP) to Hertfordshire County Council in July. We will continue to work with the Authority as they assess and evaluate our draft alternative solution for Hertfordshire."

In a statement, Hertfordshire County Council said: “The County Council has noted the decision of Veolia not to challenge the refusal of planning permission made by the Secretary of State in July 2015 and will, in due course, discuss with the local planning authority the future use of its holdings at New Barnfield.” 

 Jamie Hailstone is a freelance journalist and author, specializing in local government, transport and energy issues