The Secretary of State, adopting in substance the reasons given by his inspector, has refused planning permission for a substantial Recycling and Energy Recovery Facility, with a capacity of 380,000 tonnes per annum and volume of 585,000 m3, at land at New Barnfield in Welwyn.
The proposal was called in for decision by the Secretary of State following the resolution of the county council to approve it. The public inquiry ran for 22 days closing on 25 October 2013. The main inquiry parties included the developer Veolia, the County Council, Welwyn Hatfield Council, English Heritage, New Barnfield Action Fund and Gascoigne Cecil Estates.
The decision is of interest in relation to the proper approach to balancing the need for waste provision as against protection of the Green Belt; as well as other main issues which included landscape and visual effects; effects on heritage assets (an ensemble of heritage assets of exceptional significance including Hatfield House (G1), Hatfield Old Palace (G1), and Hatfield Park (G1 RP&G)); highways and traffic; technology choice; urgency of need; carbon balance and climate change; and prematurity.
Wayne Beglan appeared for Welwyn Hatfield Council
Mark Lowe QC and Rob Williams appeared for Hertfordshire County Council
A copy of the decision letter and inspector's report can be found here.
Press coverage can be found here.