North London Waste Plan thrown out over lack of consultation

A planning inspector has found that proper consultation was not carried out on major plans to reorganise waste disposal across seven London boroughs – which included a massive waste disposal plant in Muswell Hill.

Campaigners fighting the controversial proposals were celebrating on Friday after the North London Waste Plan was thrown out by Planning Inspector Andrew Mead.

Mr Mead concluded that the plan did not comply with legal requirements because there had not been constructive, active and ongoing engagement between authorities.

The seven London boroughs behind the proposals, which included Haringey and Camden, will now have to go back to the drawing board and decide what to do next.

The plans a massive waste plant in Pinkham Way, Muswell Hill.

The plant would have processed 300,000 tonnes of rubbish a year from three boroughs and operated 24 hours a day, seven days a week.

Opposition group The Pinkham Way Alliance was set up and mobilised a campaign to fight the plans which it believed would cause traffic congestion, noise and air pollution for nearly 10,000 homes within a one-kilometre radius.

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It is estimated the set-back could delay the project by between six months and a year.

Cllr Juliet Solomon, Liberal Democrat councillor for Alexandra ward who has been working closely campaign group Pinkham Way Alliance, said: “This is good news but it is mind boggling that a multi-million pound public body, spending our

taxpayers’ money on waste disposal, could make such an elementary mistake.

“The law is clear, ongoing consultation with affected authorities is compulsory.

“Now we must all regroup to be ready for the next phase of the fight, whatever that is.”

Liberal Democrat MP Lynne Featherstone welcomed the decision. She said: “For well over a year now, the Pinkham Way Alliance, together with Liberal Democrat Councillors and myself, have been standing up for residents and campaigning against the Pinkham Way development.”

A spokesman for the North London Waste Plan said: “We are disappointed that the Inspector has not supported our position on the Duty to Co-operate.

“This means further delay and further stages for the waste plan before we can get the waste plan back to an examination.

“There is still a need for a waste plan for North London that will enable the area to take more responsibility for managing its own waste. We are actively considering how best to proceed in the light of the Inspector’s decision.”

A spokesman for the North London Waste Authority, the organisation responsible for disposing of household and commercial waste collected by councils in north London, said: “The North London Waste Authority acknowledges the Inspector’s recent announcement on the North London Waste Plan. We will make a further announcement on our intentions once we have considered the matter with the Authority’s Members. In the meantime we continue with our ongoing procurement process for contracts to provide sustainable, cost-effective solutions for dealing with north London’s waste.

“In the near future North London must develop a new waste treatment infrastructure that will allow us to increase recycling and recover as much value as possible from non-recyclable waste. Continuing to send significant volumes of waste to landfill sites outside of London is not an option if we are to keep waste disposal costs as low as possible and meet our environmental ambitions.”