Hertfordshire Council to hold consultation on draft Waste Local Plan

A 10-week consultation on Hertfordshire Council’s draft Waste Local Plan is currently being held until Friday 19 March.

The consultation seeks to ensure the correct facilities are in place to deal with waste from the county’s residents and businesses.

Hertfordshire Sign
Philafrenzy (CC BY-SA 4.0)
The council has predicted that by 2033, Hertfordshire will be producing 4.4 million tonnes of waste annually, up nearly 1 million tonnes a year from current levels.

With rises in population (up to 175,000 by 2031), up to 100,000 new homes and jobs in the pipeline, the council has recognised the importance of upgrading waste management in the area.

The Waste Planning Authority for Hertfordshire is exploring possible solutions, including recycling centres, transfer stations, composting facilities and disposal facilities.

Derrick Ashley, Cabinet Member for Growth, Infrastructure, Planning and the Economy, said: “We produce millions of tonnes of waste in Hertfordshire every year, most of which is commercial and industrial waste, and we’re going to need more facilities to help us manage all this waste responsibly.

“We’re expecting significant growth in the county over the next 15 years and we need to plan now to make sure we have the infrastructure in place to make sure that we benefit from that.

“We want to hear people’s views on this draft plan now so we can ensure that any concerns are taken into account at an early stage.”

Hertfordshire’s current Waste Local Plan was taken on in 2014 and is looking to respond to changes to the planning system and national policies in the years that followed.

At present, Hertfordshire is generating more waste than it can locally manage. It is a ‘two tier’ authority area, which means that the 10 lower-tier district and borough councils collect household and some business waste, while the upper-tier county council manages the planning for other types of waste.

The new draft Waste Local Plan lays out the “Hertfordshire Vision” which includes a commitment to net self-sufficiency by 2036 and a move towards zero avoidable waste.

It seeks to modernise Hertfordshire's waste management systems, making use of technology that reduces carbon emissions.

The strategic objectives state that the council will carefully choose where waste facilities are situated to guarantee ‘minimal harm to human health, and the protection and enhancement of wildlife habitats’.

To combat climate change, a strategic policy has been proposed that asks for any waste development proposals to prove the steps being taken to reduce the amount of impact on the environment.

The strategy involves reducing flood risk, the use and creation of renewable energy and maintaining and improving ecosystem services.

Hertfordshire has put forward that non-recyclable waste (coming from construction, demolition or excavation) should be prioritised for use in engineering works, the restoration of mineral workings or restoring derelict land that needs filling.

Another policy puts forward the use of strategic transport that asks for proposals to illustrate a minimal use of highways and the evaluation of alternative modes of transport.

The demand for more recycling facilities in Hertfordshire was brought to light during the national lockdown in May 2020, with two-hour queues reported at Household Waste Recycling Centres (HWRCs) across the county.

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