Friday, 22 July 2011

Pinkham Way Waste Plant Public Meeting

A packed public meeting organised by Barnet, Enfield and Haringey Green parties at Hollickwood School close to the proposed waste processing plant, attracted over a hundred people on Thursday (21st July) last night. As recently as this Tuesday, Haringey Council ‘put on hold,’ the plan because as they say on their website, the North London Waste Authority (NWLA) has failed to provide enough detail on the proposals. A decision on planning permission for the development will now be delayed until April 2012, by which time the NWLA should have submitted a more detailed plan.

The speakers at the event were, Colin Parish, a local resident and founder of The Pinkham Way Alliance, Darren Johnson, Green party London Assembly Member, and Quentin Given, Coordinator of Tottenham and Wood Green Friends of the Earth.

Quentin said in his statement to the meeting, "the problem existed because we have too much residual waste. The government had failed to seriously address this in its recent waste review. We should be asking our local MPs, if they support this campaign, to go back to government and get a more ambitious waste reduction policy; and asking councillors to improve recycling facilities. On the development itself, he said that we should not be making fuel from waste containing plastic – in effect a fossil fuel – and we should scrutinise the application to see what its impact on traffic overall would be.”

Colin, in his statement said, “This factory, will be seventy five feet high, with a chimney almost double that size. The NWLA say that this site is an ex sewage works, but that was fifty years ago, it is now lovely woodland. The plan is for over one thousand vehicle movements a day, in and out of the plant, twenty four hours a day, and we must fight it. This is the worst traffic junction in London in the daytime, and these plans will make this situation even worse.” He also made an appeal for donations to help his group’s legal costs, which he said was the best way to stop the plan going ahead.

Darren agreed that the legal challenge was very important but said “Local residents are a force to be reckoned with, and this had had an effect on Haringey Council’s action in delaying a decision.” He went on to say, “The politics is also important, the Mayor of London can, at the end of the day, decide on whether this plant is built, and with the decision delayed until April 2012, this makes it a big issue at the Mayoral and GLA elections in May next year, which is brilliant timing. This plan is based on the low levels of recycling which we have in London, but we could be achieving over 80% recycling, like they do in many countries in Europe. If we recycled more, we wouldn’t need such large plants as are being proposed. I noticed on the way here to this meeting that the recycle boxes are tiny compared to the big grey wheelie bins. It is also unfair on the people of this area to be expected to take the waste from several boroughs.”

A lively questions and answers session followed the speeches, with general opposition to the plan from all parts of the room. The meeting resolved to continue the fight against this massive scale waste plant, which would have a devastating effect on people’s quality of life in this part of north London.

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