Veolia has informed the county council that they have decided to launch a legal challenge to the Secretary of State's decision to refuse to grant planning permission for a recycling and energy recovery facility in Hatfield.

Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government, Eric Pickles, decided not to grant planning permission for Veolia to construct a energy-from-waste plant at New Barnfield on July 8.

Veolia informed Hertfordshire County Council yesterday that they would be appealing and said they will pay for their legal challenge.

Terry Douris, cabinet member for waste management at the county council, said: "This is a decision made by Veolia, who have indicated that they will pay for their legal challenge. The county council will not be challenging the Secretary of State’s decision.

"It is proposed that Hertfordshire County Council’s Cabinet will meet in November to consider our next steps. This will include whether to terminate the contract or to ask Veolia to develop alternative plans for diverting Hertfordshire’s waste from landfill. 

"We appreciate that Veolia’s news will cause concerns in the local area and we remain sensitive to these.

"We will continue to update our website at as the situation develops."