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North London Waste Authority scraps plans for huge waste disposal facility in Pinkham Way
Campaigners fighting proposals for a huge waste processing plant are celebrating after the plans were scrapped.
The North London Waste Authority (NLWA) announced on Friday it would be ending its procurement for long-term waste management services.
This means plans to build a waste disposal facility in Pinkham Way, Bounds Green, will be put on hold for the foreseeable future.
The authority, which represents seven north London boroughs including Barnet, Enfield and Haringey, claims a less expensive solution can be found.
It announced that an alternative strategy will be based on continued use of the authority’s existing Edmonton facility.
This is expected to save the taxpayer up to £900million over the next 30 years.
NLWA chairman Councillor Clyde Loakes said the decision is due to changing circumstances, including recent developments in planning policy in north London.
He said: “These are tough times and we have to do everything we can to protect services.
“That means ensuring every decision we make offers real value for money.”
Cllr Loakes added: “Fundamental changes to local planning policy were confirmed this summer and in the light of those changes we asked for more work to be done on a range of matters.
“Part of this work confirmed that with some additional capital expenditure our current facility at Edmonton can run up to at least 2025.”
However, members of the Pinkham Way Alliance, a group which has campaigned against the NLWA’s plans, said there is no way a change in planning policy alone could save almost £1billion.
The group claims the long-term plans were based on inaccurate data that would have cost the taxpayer for decades to come.
According to Jeff Lever, who represents the alliance, the district auditor said the procurement plans were a “value for money risk” in a report published last month.
He believes this comment was made after campaigners presented the auditor’s office with a 40-page document outlining why the plans did not make financial sense.
He said: “This news does not end our concerns about Pinkham Way but we are happy about it.
“I have never known plans which are backed by seven north London boroughs to be stopped by a residents’ group so I think it’s quite a dramatic achievement.
“Since 2002 the waste authority has spent almost £30million on this fiasco and we are still waiting for someone to come out and say that all that money has been wasted.”
Lynne Featherstone, the MP for Hornsey and Wood Green, has opposed the NWLA’s plans and said the news was a “great victory for the Pinkham Way Alliance”.
She said: “From day one, the whole process has been a farce and the strategy deeply flawed.”
The Liberal Democrat MP added: “They should have been looking at ways to reduce wastage – not thinking of building huge incinerators in unsuitable places.
“It’s all very well the NLWA saying they’re saving us money now by keeping waste management services ‘in house’ – but what about the public money wasted to date on their flawed plans?
“I am of course glad that the NLWA has finally seen sense – but it shouldn’t have taken this long to realise their existing Edmonton site would be suitable.”
Ms Featherstone said that she and her party members would remain vigilant against any plans for the Pinkham Way site, which is still owned by the waste authority, which may surface in the future.
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