Wednesday, 25 July 2012

[Reposted from Jun 2011) Friern Barnet & Whetstone Residents' Association: Comments on Pinkham Way and waste planning

The following text appeared in our latest 'Friern Barnet & Whetstone Residents' Association' Newsletter:

Barnet is set to become the rubbish centre for North London

"There are serious proposals in the 'North London Waste Plan' for two large rubbish sites, one in Pinkham Way (North Circular Road) in Friern Barnet, and the other near to Staples Corner.

"These proposals for handling rubbish are what the Mayor of London wants, they are what the North London Waste Authority (NLWA) wants, they are what Enfield Council wants, and they are what Barnet Council wants. The only people who don’t want the one in Pinkham Way are the people who live nearby, in Friern Barnet and in Haringey.

"The publication of the North London Waste Plan in May of this year confirms our worst fears for the future of Barnet, and Friern Barnet in particular. The plan is about what will happen to the waste generated by seven boroughs in North London — Barnet, Camden, Enfield, Hackney, Haringey, Islington and Waltham Forest.

"At the consultation meeting, about its proposed Pinkham Way waste handling centre, hosted by Barnet Council and the North London Waste Authority (NLWA), held earlier this year, your Residents Association officers asked why the Edmonton site was not being developed to handle more waste.

"Edmonton is a very large site, with plenty of room for expansion. We know that, in the past, the operators of the site had attempted to expand the facility, but that this was turned down by the Greater London Authority, then led by Ken Livingstone. But Livingstone is no longer Mayor, so your Association’s officers asked: why hadn’t Boris Johnson seriously reconsidered the future of the Edmonton site?

"Unfortunately, nobody at the consultation meeting could be found, who was sufficiently well-informed to answer the question. The staff spoken to at the consultation meeting could only say that the processed rubbish from the proposed Pinkham Way site would be sent for burning "at Edmonton or elsewhere".

"To your Association’s officers, this didn’t seem to make much sense, to process the rubbish at Pinkham Way, and then to ship it to Edmonton for burning, when it could all be processed and burnt at Edmonton.

"Now the NLWA tells us that the stack in Edmonton is due to be demolished in 2020. There is no intention to replace the stack on this site. So, where will a new stack for burning be built? There are only two other sites mentioned in the North London Waste Plan, both in Barnet. One is the site near Staples Corner at Geron Way (3.28 hectares) and the other is at Pinkham Way (5.93 hectares).

"In the meantime, over at Edmonton, there is another plan, one favoured by the Mayor of London and Enfield Council, called the 'Central Leeside and Meridian Water Master Plan'. They want to develop the area for high-density housing, and obviously don’t want a giant polluting stack inhibiting the developers' investment.

"Therefore, towards the end of this decade, the NLWA will have to plan a new site for burning waste. We fear that, when they come to look at this issue of processed waste, the NLWA will see that Pinkham Way is the most logical place (economically) for a burning centre and stack. In the years leading up to the demolition of the Edmonton stack, say 2017 or 2018, the NLWA (or some replacement privatised body) may ask themselves the question: why process waste and send it elsewhere for burning, when the waste could be burnt at Pinkham Way and so avoid the expense of additional transport.

"North London (the seven boroughs previously mentioned) produces 4.7 million tonnes of waste per year. Of this, 21% is municipal waste collected by the Councils (basically household waste, but the councils do collect from some businesses) and 4% is hazardous waste, processed at special centres. The other 75% of the total is commercial and industrial waste.

"The North London Waste Plan rather glosses over what happens to this 3.5 million tonnes of commercial and industrial waste. According to them, this kind of waste will be handled according to another plan, or rather another two plans — the London Plan (2008) and the Draft Replacement London Plan (2009).

"The North London Waste Plan says that, "the rise in the landfill tax is a key driver in ensuring less waste goes to landfill." They go on to say, by using the Olympic Park as an example, that, "...[This] supports the London Plan’s target of recycling and re-using 95% of construction, demolition and excavation waste." (Comment from your officers: this is one atypical example, politically-driven as a taxpayer’s project.)

"They add that, "Assuming that the 95% on-site target is achieved, ... this residual waste (around 120,000 tonnes per annum in 2027) is likely to require landfill, for which North London has no suitable land." (Your officers say: if only 90% on-site target is achieved, then 240,000 tonnes per annum will need landfill.)

"The North London Waste Plan finishes this particular section on commercial and industrial waste by saying, "However, the flexibility in the North London Waste Plan will allow for development of other waste management facilities, as the market need arises, to offset this export [out of London]." (Our comment: we couldn’t find anything about where these other waste management facilities, for handling commercial and industrial waste, may be located in North London, or what these 'market needs' might consist of. In other words, it’s a long time in the future, and by then it will be somebody else’s problem.)

"Barnet doesn’t seem to have a coherent waste policy or plans. It seems happy to go along with what the current Mayor of London wants. Unlike the boroughs of Westminster and Camden, it has no policy forcing commercial businesses (including restaurants) to sort and recycle their waste. This borough’s commercial waste is collected by private companies, and what happens to it after collection is not included in the North London Waste Plan."

Rough boundary of Association

The new Association web site is 

"The FBWRA was born in the 1920’s, under the original title of 'Friern Barnet Ratepayers' Association', until 1965, when Finchley and Golders Green, Hendon, Chipping Barnet, East Barnet and Friern Barnet were grouped together, as the London Borough of Barnet.

" 'Friern Barnet Urban District' covered the area from Northumberland Road and County Gate in the north, to Wilton and Cromwell Road in the south, with about 30,000 residents in 1965. Its largest open space was the grounds of Friern Hospital, until this was closed and built over by the Prince’s Park development.

"We are affiliated to the 'Federation of Residents’ Associations of Barnet', and the 'London Green Belt Council', and are represented on the 'Finchley Society', 'Friern Barnet Council of Voluntary Service', and other groups."

Link to a previous post about the Association here,
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