North London Waste Authority (NLWA) is planning to build Europe’s biggest waste plant near Muswell Hill and Bounds Green, which will have disruptive effects on the environment and the local residents within this vast area. The plan to fashion the M.B.T (Mechanical Biological Treatment) plant on the Pinkham Way wildlife site between Hollickwood Park and Muswell Hill golf course, has been under consideration for several years. However only recently have the public been informed about such plans, months after the critical procurement exercise which involves selecting a private organization to take on the position of site operator.

…the plant will process 300,000 tonnes of waste from seven London boroughs for the 365 days a year, 24 hours a day…

Although the M.B.T. plant will create 60 jobs there are major issues which could arise if the green light was given to the construction of this site. Firstly, there will be a rise in traffic congestion due to the 560 refuse trucks carrying waste to the plant each day from the 7 member boroughs. Each day staff will need to consummate 1,120 traffic movements (lorries in or out), via the Colney Hatch Lane junction with the A406. This means two extra vehicles on the north circular each minute for ten hours a day. Plans are being constructed for the queuing of the refuse lorries but nothing in NLWA’s documentation or their website clarifies how traffic will be administered to prevent a large volume of lorries arriving simultaneously. Furthermore where will processed material be transferred to? Essentially there will be two journeys one to take waste to the site, and one to take processed waste to another site for incineration.

The creation of the MBT plant will lead to increased air, noise and odour pollution. It is estimated the plant will process 300,000 tonnes of waste from seven London boroughs for the 365 days a year, 24 hours a day by which it operates. Material will be cleared and then vented out, possibly through a high chimney. Bounds Green will be hit hard the most given that it is centered between the prevailing winds passing over the site. The developers have made no assessment of this or the noise levels the machinery of the plant is likely to cause. Also in terms of odour according to NWLA there are only plans to maintain rather then remove it. Add to this the idea incineration may be a future goal and you have a bigger problem.

A mature woodland has developed on the site which consists of rare bee orchids and bats which are protected species…

Furthermore, the site has been classified has Grade 1 Borough importance, therefore with regard to the wildlife inhabiting the area there should be added protection from developments like this. A mature woodland has developed on the site which consists of rare bee orchids and bats which are protected species. Therefore if the creation of the plant were to go ahead this would lead to the eradication of these natural habits which have developed over 50 years, and the obliteration of wildlife under thousands of tonnes of concrete.

The council says the plant will create jobs but it only appears jobs will move from existing facilities in Edmonton. There is also the possibility of loss of jobs as this site would be located right next to a retail park and residential area. The council claims the major benefit of the site would be reduced council taxes as waste collection costs will diminish. However where are the statistics to back this up. Also they have to consider property values across the borough which certainly likely to be damaged due to the pollution and substantial visual intrusion the plant will trigger from its 85 foot chimney.

Significantly Friends of The Earth oppose the development of the site…

Several groups are fighting the plans including the Pinkham Way Alliance and the Bounds Green & Residents’ Association. Pinkham Way alliance has organized several demonstrations with residents at Barnet council cabinet meetings. Significantly Friends of The Earth oppose the development of the site, given that it produces RDF (refuse dervied fuel) as a by-product of the treatment of the waste. To avoid the creation of such plants the government should look to alternatives by recycling more and cutting residual waste.

MouthLondon spoke to a local resident of Bounds Green, Nigel Errington about the impact the creation of the plant would have surrounding residents ”The re-designation of this fine 14 acre woodland area as no longer one of borough importance for its biodiversity is an insult by Haringey Borough to all local residents, and also an indication of the Council’s complete lack of appreciation of the pressing need to raise recycling levels and thus save us all from already persistently high air and noise pollution”

To sacrifice clean air for thousands of people would be a sin that will come back to haunt anyone who took such a decision…

Colin Parish, a resident in the local area and a member of the Pinkham Way Alliance commented on the council’s plans. “ The idea that a council is considering relaxing pollution rules for just 60 jobs is truly shameful. We have lived with the pollution from the North Circular Road for years and this plan would add considerably to that pollution. To sacrifice clean air for thousands of people would be a sin that will come back to haunt anyone who took such a decision. Clean air is a human right that we intend to defend.” To find out more about what is being done to hinder the proposed plans, you can visit www.pinkhamwayalliance.org.

Image courtesy of Sean Riley, Garry knight and Tom Raftery

 

About The Author

I am the Sport Editor of MouthLondon, and at the moment I am studying an MA in Publishing at UCL. My interests include reading, all kinds of films, The Smiths, Coldplay and the unpredictability of diminishing ink.

2 Responses

  1. Nick

    No-one who lives locally wants this disgusting buolding. No elected official who supports it being built will find themselves still a in that role after the next opportunity we have to remove them.

    As for David Beadle, the spineless moron running the NWLA, he’s not man enough to come to a public meeting and speak about his plans. That tells us all we need to know about him.

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  2. Carmen

    This is all corruption and more corruption!!
    Action, action and more action is the answer,
    we need to take the streets as soon as possible.

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