The Government's decision to reject plans for an incinerator on Green Belt land in Hatfield has has been described as “disappointing” by a senior county councillor.
Terry Douris, Hertfordshire County Council cabinet member for waste management, said there was an “urgent need for a cost-effective way of dealing with Hertfordshire’s residual waste” after plans for a energy-from-waste plant at New Barnfield was turned down.
Hertfordshire County Council had originally approved the plans by developers Veolia.
Terry Douris, cabinet member for waste management, said the proposals would have saved residents an estimated £667m over 25 years.
He said: “This is very disappointing news.
"We urgently need an efficient and cost-effective way of dealing with Hertfordshire’s residual waste that will help us divert the maximum possible amount of waste away from landfill.
“Building this recycling and energy recovery facility would save Hertfordshire residents an estimated £667m over 25 years. Doing nothing simply isn’t an option.
“We are fully aware that there have been concerns in the local area about these plans and we remain sensitive to these. We will now, with Veolia, consider our next steps.”
However in a report released this morning the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government, Eric Pickles, refused the application because "the benefits of the development did not outweigh the potential harm to the green belt.”
The plans had been heavily criticised by campaigners in Hatfield and St Albans, who feared the plant would lead to an increased pollution and generate a lot of traffic close to people's homes and schools.
The county council, as Waste Disposal Authority, is responsible for finding ways to dispose of over 540,000 tonnes of waste collected by local authorities that Hertfordshire's residents produce each year. Last year more than 275,000 tonnes of municipal waste was not recycled.