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Waste plan battle is ‘not over’ say Muswell Hill campaigners after wider scheme is shelved

Residents demonstrate against proposed Pinkham Way Waste site outside Haringey Civic Centre. Picture: Nigel Sutton. Residents demonstrate against proposed Pinkham Way Waste site outside Haringey Civic Centre. Picture: Nigel Sutton.

Sunday, October 6, 2013
7:00 AM

A campaign group which fought to prevent a massive waste plant being built on the outskirts of Muswell Hill has warned the battle is not over, despite plans for the wider scheme being shelved.

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The North London Waste Authority (NLWA) announced last Friday it was ending its procurement process – which would have seen it grant a £3-4billion 30-year contract to manage north London’s municipal waste – to look for a “less expensive solution” based on the continued use of its existing Edmonton facility.

It is news which has been welcomed by politicians and residents alike.

Hornsey and Wood Green MP, Lynne Featherstone, said: “From day one, the whole process has been a farce and the strategy deeply flawed. The plan to use Pinkham Way for a waste plant, for instance, was simply inappropriate.”

In fact, plans to use Pinkham Way, off the North Circular, as a massive disposal plant taking waste from Haringey, Camden, Islington, Barnet, Hackney, Enfield and Waltham Forest had already been shelved earlier this year.

But there are concerns the NLWA still wants to use the land.

The NLWA has said while it has no “immediate plans” to develop Pinkham Way, the site “will remain an asset” because of its “strategic location and planning designation as a potential employment site”.

The statement has led the Pinkham Way Alliance (PWA), which has fought the plans for years, to warn the future of the site is by no means certain even in the wake of the procurement “omnishambles”.

“Unfortunately the authority’s announcement indicates that they are still determined to use the Pinkham Way site for waste: they only exclude its use for residual waste,” they said.

The PWA says Pinkham Way is still the preferred site for a new materials recycling building, which would accept all of north London’s recycling.

If the area achieves its 50 per cent target, this would equate to 424,000 tonnes per year.

They said: “Although less smelly than the proposed mechanical and biological treatment plant that we defeated last December, that size of recycling facility building would obliterate the nature conservation site.

‘‘It would add more than 1,000 vehicle movements per day to the junction of the North Circular Road with Colney Hatch Lane, and to all the radial commuter and shopping road routes leading to that point.

“It is necessary to continue the campaign to safeguard the Pinkham Way nature conservation site.”

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