North London Waste Plan rejected

The North London Waste Plan was today rejected by a planning inspector appointed to assess whether it met legal requirements and was sound.

But, the procurement process for the North London Waste Authoritys PFI contracts to provide waste facilities and services from 2014 is expected to continue despite the ruling. Going forward, the rejection of the plan has the potential to cause some problems and delays in terms of site locations, largely because the plan included designated sites for waste facilities. One of these is at Pinkham Way in Haringey where there has been a strong campaign against plans to use the site for a waste facility.

The local authorities in the North London Waste Authority area will now have to consult with authorities to which their residual waste is sent for treatement and/or disposal
The local authorities in the North London Waste Authority area will now have to consult with authorities to which their residual waste is sent for treatement and/or disposal

The North London Waste Plan (NLWP) is a document produced by seven North London planning authorities Haringey, Barnet, Camden, Enfield, Hackney, Islington and Waltham Forest and outlines proposals for future waste management in the boroughs, taking into account population growth.

The Inspector has primarily rejected the plan because thegroup of North London boroughs who prepared the plan, failed toengage with councils outside of London in whose area waste from the boroughs is sent for landfill. However, he has invited the councils to withdraw the plan and resubmit it after consultation with the other local authorities. And, Mr Mead also suggests that memoranda of understandings could be reached with the other authorities.

Consequently, the plan could be completed and accepted before the contractsare due to get underway in 2014.

Legal requirements

In his ruling, the Inspector, Andrew Mead,said: Accordingly, I conclude that the NLWP does not comply with the legal requirements of S33A of the 2004 Act (as amended) in that there has not been constructive, active and ongoing engagement during the NLWPs preparation between the North London Councils and the planning authorities to which significant quantities of waste are exported.

“In reaching my conclusion in this case, I have considered carefully all the representations and have also taken into account the potentially significant implications of my decision. However, I consider no alternative conclusion can be reached, especially as it is claimed that there has been no liaison between the (North London) Councils and Buckinghamshire County Council, Northamptonshire County Council, the Bedfordshire Councils, Essex County Council and Hertfordshire County Council, other than as described above. Therefore, contact has been scant.

MrMead, added: The consequence of my conclusion is that the submitted NLWP is not legally compliant and so I cannot continue any further with the Examination. The Councils may choose to receive my report on the Plan which will not deal with any planning issues and, following Section 20(7B) of the 2004 Act as inserted by Section 112 of the Localism Act 2011, will recommend non adoption of the Plan.

Contracts

On the contractual front for the North London Waste PFI, Veolia ES and E.ON/ Wheelabrator are competing for a fuel use contract. The main PFI contract for waste services has two contenders FCC/Skanska and Veolia ES. Final tenders for the fuel use contract are due in October 2012 and for waste services in November 2012.

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