Historic landmark will be blighted by incinerator, inspector told

The incinerator will be visable from Gobions Folly Arch

The incinerator will be visable from Gobions Folly Arch - Credit: Archant

A “PICTURESQUE” landmark in Brookmans Park would be blighted by an eyesore if a £220million incinerator goes ahead, a Government inspector has been told.

Anastasia Nicholas, co-owner of the 18th century Gobions Folly Arch – which attracts visitors from all over the world – gave evidence at a public inquiry.

She spoke about the impact the proposed £220million energy from waste burner would have on the Arch, which has stood on the site since the 1700s and used to mark the entrance to the Gobions Estate.

Ms Nicholas said: “It would be detrimental to the heritage site, as people would see it in the background.

“The eyesore would thus have a detrimental impact on the picturesque local landmark which is regularly visited.”

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She added that it would be hard to estimate how many people actually came to see the monument as there is no ticketing system.

But she did say school children, artists, architects and tourists from Britain and overseas are often seen at the site.

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“It is of great historical importance as it marked the opening to the estate and Gobions Wood,” she said while being examined by New Barnfield Action Fund’s barrister, Hugh Richards.

“The arch is visited by many people from Britain and beyond.

“It is also of great importance to local people, and is on the badge of Little Heath Primary School.”

Ms Nicholas’ biggest concern was that the incinerator could be seen through the arch and from the public footpath.

“The environmental statement concludes that the impact on the arch would not be significant, I disagree with this; I consider the impact to be significant.

“And that is putting it mildly,” she added.

Ms Nicholas also said she was worried about the plumes of smoke coming out of the chimneys, saying she thought the chemicals could be ‘terrible’ for the brickwork in the long term.

Last week the public inquiry focused on ‘heritage issues’, with Hatfield House, St Etheldreda’s Church and North Mymms House all potentially being affected by energy from waste burner.

For full coverage of the incinerator inquiry, make sure you pick up a copy of the Welwyn Hatfield Times each week.

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