A victory for the community. Grant Shapps MP comments on the cross-community triumph with words from Cllr John Dean, Conservative Leader on Welwyn Hatfield Borough Council.
“This is a win for People Power.
“Ever since I raised the alarm back in March 2008, this community has come together to fight the incinerator by campaigning and raising money.
“Today we have won by putting aside politics and working cross-community to show why placing an old fashioned incinerator in Hatfield is not the answer to dealing with waste.
“From the outset I offered both the County and Veolia the opportunity to work with the community to find a better solution. But they rebuffed every approach. Today they’ve discovered that they cannot simply park their incinerator next to a Special Needs School and expect 380,000 tonnes of waste – much of it imported from London and elsewhere – to rumble past the back doors of my constituents’ homes.
“My heartfelt thanks goes out to the many organisations who have gathered to fight this proposal, including Hatfield Against Incineration, Welwyn Hatfield Borough Council who have put in big resources to fight this battle, along with Hatfield Town Council and the North Mymms Green Belt Society.
“But I reserve special thanks to the hundreds of ordinary Welwyn Hatfield residents who sent in cheques, some several times over, to help us hire the best experts and legal representations to force the Public Inquiry and defeat this £1.2bn incinerator.
“More than anything else this demonstrates that when we stand together as a community we can win, even against the greatest of odds. This is a Welwyn Hatfield people power victory.”
Cllr John Dean, Leader of Welwyn Hatfield Borough Council, said: "Understandably we are very pleased that the Planning Inspector agreed this was not a suitable site for the incinerator. We have consistently argued that point on behalf of residents over a number of years. Councillors and council officers have fought long and hard to make the case that it would have a significant impact on the landscape, and on people in the surrounding area.
"We have never been opposed in principle to an energy from waste solution to manage the county's waste. We will continue to work with our county colleagues to look at ways of improving recycling rates, and reducing the growing cost of waste disposal."