29 January 2013, 16:34
The Department of Communities and Local Government has called-in the Planning Application for a waste incinerator in Hatfield.
The Secretary of State will now appoint a planning inspector to hold a public inquiry into Veolia's proposals.
The inspector will then write a report for the Secretary of State, including a recommendation on whether or not planning permission should be granted.
The Secretary of State then either grants or refuses planning permission.
Cathy Roe, Secretary of Hatfield Against Incineration, told Heart this was the news she'd been hoping for and she's delighted:
“This means that the issues that local residents and other campaigners have raised will now be explored by an independent inspector instead of being dismissed out of hand by Herts County Council.
"We are sure that the case against an incinerator at New Barnfield is so strong that the inspector will refuse planning permission. That we have been granted this inquiry is thanks to all those who have worked so hard to support the campaign”
But Veolia are not so please:
"Veolia Environmental Services is disappointed at the decision by the Secretary of State to “call-in” our application to build a Recycling and Energy Recovery Facility at New Barnfield, Hatfield.
"Hertfordshire County Council Members resolved to approve our application last October and this announcement will mean that a decision will now need to await the outcome of a Public Inquiry and potential further deliberation by the Secretary of State.
"Construction of the Recycling and Energy Recovery Facility, which would increase recycling and generate 26.6 megawatts of electricity from 380,000 tonnes of residual waste generated in Hertfordshire, had been due to commence in the Summer following the relocation of Southfield School and completion of pre commencement works.
"A final decision on this urgently needed infrastructure and the employment it will create is now likely to be delayed by around 12 months."
Hertfordshire County Council told Heart they believe the inquiry will be held in the summer and they don’t expect the Secretary of State to make a decision until the late autumn.