Services moved out of Hatfield site “in anticipation” of incinerator

PLANS to move an education centre in Hatfield have been approved – increasing fears an incinerator will be built in its place.

Hertfordshire County Council has approved proposals to move library services and The Park Education Support Centre (ESC) from the New Barnfield site in Travellers Lane, removing another obstacle standing in the way of a possible �220m waste incinerator.

At a cabinet meeting on Monday, councillors agreed the facilities could be switched “in anticipation that the site may be required in connection with the procurement of a Residual Waste Treatment Facility.”

The Park ESC will now be relocated to the former site of New Briars Primary School in Hazel Grove, Hatfield, with the library services going to a vacant site in Broadwater Road, WGC, subject to purchase and a planning application.

But the move has been seen by opponents of the incinerator as proof the council has already chosen New Barnfield as the site for the waste burner – despite assurances no such decision has been made.

Welwyn Hatfield Lib Dem parliamentary hopeful Paul Zukowskyj said the county council is keen to put an incinerator on the site as it will generate more money for the council to spend on other projects.

“It’s very predictable that they’re continuing to push New Barnfield as the site,” he said. “And I’ve said for a long time that there’s an ulterior motive to that.”

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But a county council spokeswoman said the services would have been moved anyway, regardless of whether an incinerator was going in its place.

“While we appreciate that the Cabinet report could be misinterpreted, the reason for relocating facilities that are currently based at New Barnfield is because of a general anticipation that the site will be developed in the future. This is also an opportunity to provide significant service improvements for the central resources library.

“The fact is that whatever the outcome of our waste facility procurement process, New Barnfield has potential for redevelopment of some kind.”