Local people are horrified at what might happen to their local area if the looming planning application for one of Europe’s largest waste processing plants to be developed on their doorstep gets the go ahead.
North London Waste Authority (NWLA) are about to apply for outline planning permission to Haringey Council. The application is for a waste processing plant to deal with the waste from seven North London boroughs – in the middle of residential dwellings and a nature site – at Pinkham Way.
And it is not nimbyism! There are very good reasons to question NWLA’S proposals.
Large scale plants draw in waste from a wide area, contradicting the proximity principle (that waste management sites should be located so as to reduce the distance that waste is transported) and competing with recycling.
Moreover – why should people in Muswell Hill and Bounds Green have to suffer the traffic, noise and pollution caused by NWLA’s desire to put in a plant on this enormous scale – processing between 240,000 and 300,000 tonnes per year?
We should be complying with the best of principles of recycling and waste disposal – not causing more problems!
Given this is a residential area, a nature site, near local primary schools and just a few metres away from a children’s playground – kicking off the whole process without letting local people who may be affected by the plant actually know what it happening – has to be the worst possible way to do it.
But that is what happened with NWLA’S plans at Pinkham Way. It was left to local residents’ groups and the Pinkham Way Alliance and local LibDem councillor Juliet Solomon and myself to spread the news. Oh yes – there was a very small and inadequate flyer by NWLA which very few people seem to have had. Of course – as information dripped out over garden fences – it is no wonder people were up in arms.
To make sure that NLWA was left under no illusion about peoples’ views – Juliet and I presented NWLA’s top boss (David Beadle) with views from hundreds of local residents who had responded to our Liberal Democrat survey.
The responses clearly demonstrated local peoples’ horror both about the poor level of consultation (97% of local people felt they had not been adequately consulted) and local peoples’ very valid concerns about noise, pollution and traffic movements on the proposed application for outline planning permission.
To add insult to injury – NWLA’s application is partnered by Barnet Council who want to use part of the site as the base for their waste operation in Barnet. That would mean waste vehicles coming and going – in addition to noise and traffic movements of the waste disposal site itself.
NWLA are now (finally) going to be providing a detailed explanation to local residents in the form of a properly detailed document of their plans through local peoples’ letterboxes – before the outline planning application is submitted in late May. This should be with local people by now – as I am writing this column at end of April.
It’s crucial that local people know what’s going on so that they are in a good place to respond to the planning application later on in the spring.
In the meantime, residents can of course write to both to Juliet and myself with their concerns, and we will communicate them to the NLWA.
We’re here to support you, so don’t hesitate to get in touch”. http://www.lynnefeatherstone.org/wards/alexandra
By Lynne Featherstone, MP for Hornsey & Wood Green
Tel: 020 8340 5459
She blogs at www.LynneFeatherstone.org and is on Twitter at twitter.com/LFeatherstone
Email: [email protected] or write to her at House of Commons, London, SW1A