Update: Massive composting facility set for green belt

PUBLISHED: 12:53 19 February 2009 | UPDATED: 22:05 26 October 2009

An artist's impression of the site

An artist's impression of the site

A MASSIVE new composting plant is set to be built on Green Belt land in South Mimms - unless the Government steps in. Despite more than 25 objections from homeowners, local authorities and other organisations, Hertfordshire County Council

Cllr Rosemary Gilligan at the entrance to the site in South Mimms

A MASSIVE new composting plant is set to be built on Green Belt land in South Mimms - unless the Government steps in.

Despite more than 25 objections from homeowners, local authorities and other organisations, Hertfordshire County Council has granted planning permission for the facility at

Redwell Wood Farm, in Blackhorse Lane.

The plant, when constructed, will be able to process up to 48,500 tonnes of organic waste annually over a period of 25 years, and is expected to see some 84 heavy lorry movements each day.

In giving waste management company Agrivert planning consent, the council's development control committee noted that the development "would cause harm to the Green Belt," but decided the facility was needed to provide "more sustainable waste management in Hertfordshire".

A final decision on the plant will now be taken by Communities Secretary Hazel Blears.

And Hertsmere borough councillor Rosemary Gilligan, who represents South Mimms, told the Potters Bar Edition she hoped Mrs Blears would veto the county council's ruling.

"It isn't just a site for the local area, there will be traffic coming up from London bringing waste," she said.

"It would put a lot of traffic onto an already busy road."

Bill Wilson, for the Potters Bar Society's country group, said: "We are extremely disappointed that the council granted planning permission.

"We strongly objected to the access arrangements.

"The siting of the entrance is very poor, raising highway safety issues."

He added: "We hope the secretary of state reviews the decision."

A county council spokesman said: "The resolution was for approval subject to conditions and a legal agreement for rights of way matters.

"However, this is also subject to the matter being considered by the secretary of state, as is usual in cases involving a departure from normal Green Belt policies.

"We are currently awaiting the secretary of state's response on this matter."

A spokesman for applicants Agrivert said: "The very first thing we did was to get Highways to look at the site.

"Highways are satisfied that it conforms to the standards required of that type of junction.

"The access we believe is safe and suitable and if we didn't think it was we would have chosen somewhere else."

As for the concerns about extra traffic, he said: "We don't envisage a massively increased amount of traffic going through South Mimms village.

"Most of the vehicles that we are anticipating will be out of rush hour.

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