'Redhill court ruling has boosted battle against Hatfield incinerator' claim

PUBLISHED: 19:00 18 October 2014

Councillor Paul Zukowskyj stands on Dellsome Lane where street lights are being left on all day

Councillor Paul Zukowskyj stands on Dellsome Lane where street lights are being left on all day

Archant

A new court ruling has wiped out the chances of a waste incinerator being built in south Hatfield, a leading campaigner against the massively unpopular project has claimed.

Would-be developer Veolia’s appeal against a planning inspector’s rejection of the New Barnfield waste plant is due to be heard in the High Court on December 16, but Lib Dem county councillor Paul Zukowskyj drew reassurance from a Court of Appeal ruling on Thursday.

He said: “The central core of Veolia’s appeal has disappeared from under them.

“Veolia’s chance of success has gone from slim to virtually zero.”

Three appeal judges overruled an earlier High Court judgement in favour of the owners of Surrey’s Redhill Aerodrome, who wanted to build a concrete runway.

They agreed with Secretary of State Eric Pickles that the words “any other harm” in the National Planning Policy Framework did not necessarily mean damage to the Green Belt, but encompassed other effects of a proposed development.

Planning inspector David Richards ruled the proposed incinerator would not only damage the Green Belt, but spoil the setting of various “heritage assets”, in particular Hatfield House and Hatfield Park.

Lawyers have advised incinerator campaigners that the strongest part of Veolia’s case relies on the Redhill precedent.

However, a Veolia spokesman said: “We can confirm we are continuing with our statutory challenge to the Secretary of State’s decision on the New Barnfield recycling and energy recovery facility, which is based on a number of different grounds and is due to be heard in December.”

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