Better incinerator sites elsewhere

SIR – In his letter last week, Jason Lee raised a good point about the house price impact of a New Barnfield incinerator. But that s just one aspect of strong arguments against these plans. The fact is that New Barnfield is already home to two schools and

SIR - In his letter last week, Jason Lee raised a good point about the house price impact of a New Barnfield incinerator. But that's just one aspect of strong arguments against these plans.

The fact is that New Barnfield is already home to two schools and a library. Building an incinerator there would mean relocating them, as well as massively increasing the number of lorries arriving at the site (which already contains a Tesco distribution depot) to bring waste from the whole of Hertfordshire. This plan would create upheaval for pupils, disruption for residents and spark concerns about both health and quality of life for local people.

New legislation means that we cannot continue to place our waste in landfill sites without incurring massive fines which would lead to much higher council tax charges. Worldwide landfill sites are now viewed as an environmental disaster, so we need others ways to process it. An 'energy from waste' plant is a possible option and I'm not against it on principle. There are even places within Welwyn Hatfield away from homes where it could go (as well as others across Hertfordshire), but New Barnfield isn't one of them.

In March 2008 I became the first representative to back local residents in highlighting concerns about this particular plan. Now, as we're reaching a key part of the planning process, I think we need to make even more noise. Local councillors from both major parties together with hundreds of residents have now signed our petition.


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I've set up a new website for local people to join the campaign at www.SaveNewBarnfield.com which calls on the planners and bidders to go back to the drawing board. I hope plenty more people, no matter what their political persuasion, will visit SaveNewBarnfield.com and help us defend an important local site.

Grant Shapps MP,

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Member of Parliament for Welwyn Hatfield.

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