More on the Hatfield incinerator plan

SIR – 270,000 tonnes of waste hammering past our houses – that is what the siting of a waste incinerator at New Barnfield would mean. The huge number of large lorries will lead to noise, pollution and traffic congestion, not just in South Hatfield but

SIR - 270,000 tonnes of waste hammering past our houses - that is what the siting of a waste incinerator at New Barnfield would mean.

The huge number of large lorries will lead to noise, pollution and traffic congestion, not just in South Hatfield but the whole town.

Contrary to what is suggested by HCC, the site is not situated away from housing but adjacent to the heavily populated area of South Hatfield.

Its access route along South Way and Millwards roundabout, runs immediately alongside residents' houses.


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A 100-strong petition opposing the use of New Barnfield was sent to HCC in March 2008, during the site consultation period. Despite HCC saying that they would take this petition (and several other communications opposing the use of the site) into account, New Barnfield has continued to be the favoured location.

Hopefully now with such an increased level of opposition, not just from local residents but also councillors, politicians and green organisations, HCC will at least see sense and decide to find a new much more suitable location for the new waste facility.

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Sue and Tony Nash, Residents of Millwards, South Hatfield.

Sir - Hatfield South's Tory county councillor Stuart Pile is being utterly disingenuous in last week's WHT where he criticises claims that the county council wants to build a 270,000 tonne waste incinerator at the New Barnfield library/Southfields School site in south Hatfield.

On October 20, Stuart Pile attended a county council cabinet meeting which voted that a 270,000 incinerator be proposed at New Barnfield, south Hatfield and that the Central Resource Library and Southfields Schools be cleared from the site.

The minutes of the meeting are published on the county council website. They are very clear: Stuart Pile is not recorded as either speaking or voting against the decision to build the incinerator and move the library and school.

Stuart Pile then failed to persuade his county council cabinet colleagues not to continue their work, when they commissioned an environmental impact assessment for the New Barnfield site.

When he says, in your paper, he is opposing this decision "at the moment", it's clear that he hasn't opposed it very effectively since last October.

When he says he opposes the decision "at the moment", there's no promise that he will continue to oppose it or that he will vote against it at the next county council meeting.

If Stuart Pile was really opposed to the plan, he wouldn't have proposed Hatfield to be the dustbin of the county.

As Hatfield's county councillor, he has betrayed the trust of local residents.

The way to handle waste is to recycle it, not burn it.

Mike Hobday,

Labour Parliamentary candidate, Welwyn Hatfield

Sir - New Barnfield, so close to a school and workplaces, is clearly not the right place for an incinerator, but nowhere is. Incineration is as out of date as the car as we know it and has no place in the much greener society and economy we are beginning to try to build.

Now that regulations and technology - filtering and scrubbing - have improved, it is argued that incinerators offer safe disposal of toxic pollutants. But toxic gases, in the form of very fine particulates, can still be discharged and as well as being in the atmosphere for us to breathe in, they'll be in our food supply.

At a time when even leading politicians are beginning to talk about 'green jobs', recycling plants offer 10 jobs for every one that an incinerator offers.

But what about waste that can't be recycled?

Mechanical and biological treatment (MBT) plants are a good alternative to incinerators. There are about 50 in Germany and there is very little opposition to them.

Let's move with the times - forget incinerators, or we'll live to regret it!

For further information on the local incinerator campaign contact jill_weston@hotmail.co.uk or on 01707 331643.

Jill Weston, Welwyn Hatfield Green Party.

Sir - It was good to see Welwyn Hatfield Green Party's view on the proposed incinerator as part of Hertfordshire's waste management strategy and in particular the focus on Hatfield where it has been some time since the Green Party fielded any candidates.

What with the poplar trees fiasco at Stanborough Lakes, many Hatfield residents would welcome the opportunity to vote Green for a change in the coming elections.

Name and address supplied.

Sir - In response to last week's letter about New Barnfield (WHT, April 29).

In our role as waste planning authority, the county council has been through a lengthy technical process to identify potential waste facility sites.

Over 850 sites were assessed to establish their suitability.

They were then categorised as either:

* Preferred - those which may be considered suitable for waste uses.

* Safeguarded - existing waste sites with permanent planning permission that will be protected for their waste use unless alternatives can be provided.

* Employment land areas of search - areas of land designated within district plans as suitable for employment and therefore which may contain sites suitable for future waste uses.

All household waste recycling centres, such as Cole Green, fall into the 'safeguarded' category so that the valuable function they provide is not lost. The site was not 'preferred' because of its relatively small size, its greenfield surroundings and highway issues.

New Barnfield was designated a 'preferred' site in waste planning terms. As it is also council owned, it was subsequently identified as the county council's 'reference site' in its application to secure government funding for a waste treatment facility.

We will now make a decision on how to provide waste treatment facilities based on proposals from potential suppliers, which are likely to involve a range of technologies at various sites.

Whatever New Barnfield is eventually used for, any proposals will go through a stringent planning process, including public consultation. Part of this will involve careful consideration of the impact that any increase in traffic will have on the area, including local residents and the school.

Richard Brown, assistant director, environmental management, Hertfordshire County Council.

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