Plans for waste incinerator in Hatfield move a step closer
CONTROVERSIAL plans to build an incinerator next to a special school have moved a step closer, after the county council secured �115m from government to fund the project. The funds, which have been awarded by
CONTROVERSIAL plans to build an incinerator next to a special school have moved a step closer, after the county council secured �115m from government to fund the project.
The funds, which have been awarded by the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra), are expected to meet 50 per cent of the cost of developing the facility, which the council has earmarked for its New Barnfield site in Hatfield.
The authority will now carry out an environmental impact assessment (EIA) of the site, which is located next to Southfield School, in Travellers Lane, before inviting bids from waste management contractors for the project.
Derrick Ashley, the council's executive member for planning, external relations and waste, described the government cash as a "great result for the county".
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"In the past couple of years there has been a significant increase in the number of projects being submitted to Defra to compete for support, so it is really encouraging that our project has been granted funding."
The council says it needs a waste treatment plant to provide a "cost-effective, sustainable solution for Hertfordshire's waste," and believes the facility could save taxpayers �544m over the next 31 years.
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However, Cllr Ashley said New Barnfield is a "reference site" only and stressed the incinerator could yet be built at an alternative location in the county.
"The inclusion of New Barnfield (in our plans) does not mean this site will definitely be used for the new waste treatment facility," he said.
"We will now be inviting potential suppliers to tender for the contract and the successful bidder may propose a completely different site and/or technology.
He added: "In order to ensure that we end up with the most suitable facility in the best location, any proposals put forward by the successful bidder will go through a stringent planning process and will include extensive public consultation."
The council hopes to appoint its chosen waste management contractor in March 2011.
It is anticipated building work will then commence a year later, with the plant set to be fully operational by March 2015.