Protest call as £220m Hatfield incinerator inquiry set to start

PUBLISHED: 17:00 07 September 2013

Anti-incinerator protesters with their signs outside The Fielder Centre at a previous rally

Anti-incinerator protesters with their signs outside The Fielder Centre at a previous rally

Archant

IT could be one of the most important decisions in Hatfield’s history.

Next week a public inquiry will get under way into controversial £220million plans to build a 380,000-tonne-a-year incinerator in New Barnfield.

It comes after the Government called for an independent investigation into the project, which has sparked fury and seen public authorities at loggerheads.

Campaigners have called on protesters to make their feelings known ahead of the crucial hearings.

The six-week long probe will start at the Fielder Centre, in Hatfield Business Park, next Tuesday.

The protest will start at 9.30am, and opponents have been urged to bring banners and placards.

The Welwyn Hatfield Times will be at the inquiry, which will start at 10am.

Cathy Roe, secretary of lobby group Hatfield Against Incineration (HAI) and a committee member of the New Barnfield Action Fund, said: “We now have the opportunity to have our case heard by an independent inspector.

“We have a very strong case, and an excellent chance of success.

“We ask everyone to come to the protest on the first inquiry day, to underline the strength of opposition among the whole community.”

The inquiry will hear evidence from energy firm Veolia, which put forward the plans, and Herts County Council, at the beginning.

The case for the incinerator will also be put forward by Herts County Council – which voted in favour of the plant in October last year – while Welwyn Hatfield Council, English Heritage, the New Barnfield Action Fund, and Gascoyne Cecil Estates, representing Hatfield House, will be opposing the plant.

Special buses to the Fielder Centre are leaving from The Brookmans pub, in Brookmans Park, at 8.30am, and Welham Green Memorial Hall at 8.40am, opposite Millwards at 8.50am, opposite The Harrier pub at Hilltop at 9am, and Market Place in Hatfield town centre at 9.10am.

To book a place on a bus, phone Jenny at Routemasterhire on 01707 276066. A small donation will be expected.

The buses will return from the Fielder Centre at 2pm.

Anyone who is not an official witness and wishes to speak at the inquiry, but has not yet sent their name, should give their details to the inquiry programme officer on 01403 219899, or email grahamgroom@personaassociates.co.uk


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