New waste plan offers ‘best protection’ for Enfield

Plan covering North London’s waste disposal modified to reduce risk of new sites in Enfield, reports Simon Allin, Local Democracy Reporter

A recycling truck outside Enfield Civic Centre (credit Enfield Council)
A recycling truck outside Enfield Civic Centre (credit Enfield Council)

Sites in Enfield could be better protected from the threat of new waste facilities following changes to a 15-year waste management plan.

The modifications to the North London Waste Plan (NLWP), made by a government planning inspector, mean developers will be expected to look to other boroughs when considering “priority sites” for new waste facilities before considering Enfield.

It is designed to “create a better geographical spread of waste facilities in North London”, with Enfield already hosting 62% of waste management land – including the Edmonton incinerator site.

The modification to the plan also add protections for Pinkham Way, a site in the north of Haringey that borders Enfield. Its inclusion as a suitable site for a new waste facility sparked strong local opposition because of its status as a site of importance for nature conservation and its close proximity to Metropolitan Open Land.

The NLWP is designed to ensure there are enough sites to manage the waste of seven London boroughs – Barnet, Camden, Enfield, Hackney, Haringey, Islington and Waltham Forest – up to 2036.

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Eley’s Estate, in Edmonton, is listed as a priority area for waste management in the plan, but the sites identified will not necessarily be developed and any new facilities would require planning permission.

The modified plan was presented to a cabinet meeting at Enfield Civic Centre on Wednesday. Council leader Nesil Caliskan told the meeting she believed the plan provided “the best protection for the borough for any unplanned designation of sites”.

Failing to adopt the plan would put the borough at risk, she added, as it contains a large amount of strategic industrial land that could otherwise be used as sites for waste facilities.

Cllr Caliskan said: “If we didn’t have a plan that set out potential areas [for waste facilities], then any private entity could decide to put in a planning application and ask the secretary of state to sign off a facility right in the middle of Meridian Water, for example. Our plans for 10,000 homes would be at risk.”

Sarah Cary, the council’s executive director of place, said the inspector had made modifications to the Pinkham Way site to ensure any development brought forward would “lead to a net gain in biodiversity”. She added that a campaign group, Pinkham Way Alliance, had told a cabinet meeting in Haringey that they were “happy with the modifications” and recommended the plan be adopted.

Following the discussion, cabinet members agreed the planning inspector’s modifications and referred the NLWP to a full council meeting on 13th July for formal adoption.

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