Uncertainty surrounds Herts waste plant

The second site chosen for Veolia’s Hertfordshire waste PPP project could be called-in by the Secretary of State following “a number of requests”.

Hertfordshire County Council is to make a decision next week on whether to approve planning of the plant at Ratty’s Lane in Hoddesdon, but has received an Article 31 Direction from the communities department.   

Under an Article 31 Direction, in the event that the council approves the planning request, it cannot issue a decision notice to the applicant without the authorisation of the Secretary of State.  Such directions are issued to councils to allow the Secretary of State sufficient time to make a decision as to whether call in is appropriate or not.    

A spokesperson for Communities Secretary Sajid Javid told Partnerships Bulletin that the minister had received “a number of requests for the planning application to be called-in”.    

Hertfordshire County Council and Veolia signed the £1bn energy-from-waste PPP deal back in September 2016 and had originally planned to deliver the project on the New Barnfield site, but that option was scuppered when then-Communities Secretary Greg Clark refused planning permission.    

Under a 30-year concession, works involve the demolition of existing buildings plus construction and operation of the new facility to generate 33.5MW of electricity from the 350,000 tonnes of potential residual ‘black bin’ waste.