Monday, 05 October 2015 10:51

North London Waste Plan

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Some six or seven years ago the Barnet Society was solidly involved in the early public discussion and consultation on this project.  Now, after a hiatus arising largely from the difficulty of finding common ground and community concern, particularly against the possible use of a site at Pinkham Way, the project is again under way, and has clearly benefitted from wide input in the interval.

On behalf of the Society, David Lee, Vice President, viewed the Draft Plan that was published in July, and together with Robin Bishop responded to the Planning Group’s request for initial public comments.

The NWLP is a collaboration by seven Boroughs (Barnet, Camden, Enfield, Hackney, Haringey, Islington & Waltham Forest). They are seeking to find the best possible solutions for dealing with the waste and recycling that is generated in our collective area. The need to reduce our reliance on landfill sites is well recognised, as well as all the side issues. Now waste is to be treated as an opportunity, not a problem.

In introducing the Draft Plan, the Members Group Chair says, “In order of preference we should reuse, recycle, compost and, where none of these are possible, recover energy from the waste we produce”.

For the next fifteen years the NWLP aims to ensure adequate provision of suitable land to accommodate waste management facilities of the right type, in the right place, at the right time, and to provide suitable complementary planning policies.

It identifies seven principal waste streams which need suitable provision, either within the Plan area or by export to specialist facilities. They are:

  • Local Authority Collected Waste (LACW, from households).
  • Commercial and Industrial (C&I, from businesses and industry).
  • Construction, Demolition and Excavation (CD&E, from building and infrastructure projects, etc).
  • Hazardous Waste (a sub-category of all the streams).
  • Agricultural Waste (farming and forestry).
  • Waste Water/Sewage Sludge (washing, cleaning and hygienic activities).
  • Low-level Radioactive Waste (X-rays, lab testing, etc).

Considering the above the NLWP aims for “net self-sufficiency”, defined as providing enough waste management capacity to manage the equivalent of the waste generated in North London, while recognising that some imports and exports will continue (i.e. broadly dealing with the first three items, the remainder being taken away).

Given the imprint of facilities already existing in the Plan area and developed down the years, it is unsurprising that there is not a fine balance between the Boroughs.

Much of the burden falls on the east side, with the Edmonton works to be enlarged and improved.  Barnet comes off relatively lightly with only half a dozen smaller facilities.

Haringey contains the old Friern Barnet sewage works (the Pinkham Way site) which has potential uses including waste transfer, processing and recycling, indoor composting and in-vessel composting.

The Sustainability Appraisal for this site, however, notes that there are “several issues requiring mitigation”.  

This note of caution is generally present for the Barnet sites, and recognises the need to address properly the wider needs of the community.

At this stage the NLWP Draft sets out objectives and seeks the community’s response.

Spatial Strategy, Growth (net self-sufficiency) and Methodology (taking into account existing facilities and potential for change or expansion, road and rail links, and the wider community needs and interests) are the stuff of this Draft.

It is not yet dealing with the fine details of sites, structures or processes.

The Barnet Society feels that the Draft Plan represents a very sound interim consultation stage, and therefore has given it full support.

The Society will, however, wish to consider the next stage very closely. Following the recent public consultation (under Regulation 18), the next stage, the Proposed Submission Plan, will be published (under Regulation 19) for further comment in Summer 2016.

The timetable allows for Public Hearing in 2016/17, Inspector’s Report in Summer 2017, and adoption in Autumn 2017.

Further information can be found on the NLWP website
You can also telephone 020 7974 5916.

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