pgc all green working and signpost with lettering new colour 2
pgc all green working and signpost with lettering new colour 2
facebook icon twitter icon

Forum topic: North London Waste Plan - Further Consultation

North London Waste Plan - Further Consultation

Karl Brown

26 Oct 2020 17:53 #5679

Share share on facebook icon share on twitter icon Share by email

The North London Waste Plan (NLWP) is moving to its next stage, with consultation opening this Thursday (29th October) and running through to 10th December. Focus will be restricted to the “Main Modifications” (MM’s) put forward by the seven boroughs in their effort to resolve issues identified at the public hearing in November 2019. No subsequent public hearing is anticipated by the inspector who expects to base his final report on this consultation, plus earlier data. Subject to it all working out as the boroughs anticipate, this would mean that the preparation of an agreed waste plan should take just a shade less than the 15 year actual term of the plan. Although as I say, that is subject to it all working out.
Note this exercise does not challenge the new Edmonton incinerator. Its two core issues therefore remain: is incineration a sensible route given the ever increasing climate problem and air quality issues; and if it is, why build one (far) too large for North London’s own needs. Two legal cases against HMG, one by an Enfield resident being UK incinerator specific, the other relating to UK energy policy more generally, continue. Their impact on Edmonton, depending on the outcomes of the cases, will presumably be influential.
The NLWP instead focus on all waste types produced and / or managed within North London, seeking to ensure there is enough available land to enable the processing of same over the plan’s 15 year term, as well as agree associated policies.
On the latest available data there is something in excess of 50% more waste–designated land than is required. Such a conclusion causes significant issues for their long desired inclusion of the site known as Pinkham Way / Woods, a Grade 1 SINC (Site of importance for Nature Conservation), as a waste management centre.
Squaring that particular circle is one of the several tricky challenges the NLWP will seek to achieve in its MM’s, in its quest to make use of the land originally secured in a secret deal between the North London Waste Authority and Barnet Council (the then owners, although the land itself is actually in Haringey). A brief praise of how this squaring was attempted in 2019 is enclosed.

This browser does not support PDFs. Please download the PDF to view it: Download PDF


There are other tricky issues also to be faced.

Consultation details and paperwork will be available from the NLWP site:
www.nlwp.net . An alternate route for those interested but not wishing to get knee deep in reports is to sign up to the PWA: www.pinkhamwayalliance.org . The authorities have previously allowed individuals to add their signature to the PWA’s own submission in an effort to streamline the overall process and in their acknowledgement that the PWA submits high quality input.

Because of HM Land Registry, secret deals of the form undertaken are not really all that secret.
Attachments:

Please Log in or Create an account to join the conversation.

North London Waste Plan - Further Consultation

PGC Webmaster

28 Oct 2020 17:16 #5689

Share share on facebook icon share on twitter icon Share by email



The consultation documents will be available from Thursday 29th October at www.nlwp.net/examination/ .

The consultation runs from Thursday 29th October to Thursday 10th December 2020.

Please Log in or Create an account to join the conversation.

North London Waste Plan - Further Consultation

Karl Brown

11 Dec 2020 09:56 #5796

Share share on facebook icon share on twitter icon Share by email

Yesterday (10 December) was the close of the last (?) consultation on the current waste plan (NLWP). Having started in 2007 (or perhaps earlier) the first NLWP failed at public hearing / examination in 2012 at early doors on a technical matter of cross boundary co-operation. Restarting afresh in 2014, by 2019 the independent inspector had received a Regulation 19 plan and raised 89 key questions across 6 main categories. With subsequent responses from several consultees, including the seven north London boroughs themselves, the public hearing in November 2019 did not suggest a happy outcome. 115 Main Modifications (MMs) plus a substantive number of Additional Modifications (AMs) were subsequently submitted by the boroughs in an attempt to make the plan acceptable (“sound”). These were agreed by the inspector as the basis for further consultation. It is those latest changes that have most recently been consulted on.
These MMs at times represent fundamental alterations to what has been previously proposed, impacting on critical aspects such as the available capacity, the spatial framework of waste sites and how and why any new sites will be determined.
In its 100 plus pages of evidence the Pinkham Way Alliance (PWA) suggests the plan fails the test of soundness.
Looking at the matter of capacity / land need three different ways, PWA highlighted that through each lens no fresh land is required. For the plans desired inclusion of Pinkham Way / Woods that is a major stumbling block.
The submission also brings further technical weight to bear on why the disputed Pinkham Way site should not be included – not here the technical arguments but in brief the plan eg includes seeking to remove industrial as well as protected waste land to be replaced with a Grade 1 SINC under its desire for fresh land for waste management.
The NLWP does not address the incinerator specifically; however the plan’s aim to move towards Net Self Sufficiency for our north London sub region is shown as being already met under the best available definition, and substantially met when non-evidenced data within the plan is logically addressed. With the incinerator also slated to import waste into the sub region, this apparently positive NSS will only increase further. That leaves the planners with a complex circle to square.
While it is clearly not PWA’s decision, two possible routes forward could emerge:
The inspector accepts the evidence that no fresh land is required. The plan is agreed in a form essentially be based around its policies. Any change to waste sites in North London would follow the London Plan’s requirement and be focused on industrial land (SIL and LSIS); or
It is restarted on a typical 6 year journey where a sensible first step would be the completion by the eight Partner Authorities (7 boroughs plus the North London Waste Authority) of an updated Joint Waste Strategy (JWS). This was very much the intent in 2007 and remains logically sound in strategy and planning terms.
Currently waiting on HMG’s approach to waste post Brexit, verbal indications are that this JWS will be Circular Economy (CE) and recycling centric. ARUP’s quite recent report for the GLA suggested that up to 60% of London’s waste could be removed over 30 years under a powerful CE push, the majority being in the first 15 years. Their central scenario is 30%.
Figures of this scale suggest far reaching industry and process chain changes and would be key informing data for a new NLWP.
It would also give greater steer to eg Enfield who is otherwise operating under the latest recycling targets of 65% for municipal waste, itself being an average of 75% for C&I and 50% for LACW, and a lower household figure within the latter, all subject to target dates. The JWS would also crucially need to address the “how”. These targets are for the London region and it is not yet clear (specified) how or if the target(s) will be apportioned to various sub regions or boroughs, possibly with outperformance in some being balanced by underperformance in others.
As always, there is much to consider in what is a very complex and increasingly climate and environment sensitive space. Now we must wait for the inspector’s next decision. Until then, there’s no harm in reducing consumption of stuff and reusing or recycling what is actually used. Without waste none of this is necessary, and that should be our real target.

Please Log in or Create an account to join the conversation.

North London Waste Plan - Further Consultation

Karl Brown

25 May 2021 10:01 #6001

Share share on facebook icon share on twitter icon Share by email

The 7 north London boroughs have now addressed the consultation responses to the 115 Main Modifications they deemed were required to their draft waste plan and have now submitted an amended NLWP to the independent inspector for his approval, or otherwise. (All papers are available on the NLWP web site.)
As submitted, this latest derivation sets a high bar for any new waste land / sites to appear in Enfield: despite having only 16% of north London’s population Enfield has historically supplied approaching two thirds of the waste capacity. NB this will not affect the planned Edmonton incinerator which is “baked in” to this particular process, which focuses on any need for waste land and associated policy.
The long controversial Pinkham Way site in Haringey, owned in part by Barnet council and the remainder by the NLWA, has been impacted with Barnet confirming they have no plans for a waste site on their portion. The remainder is subject to many environmental issues, from high level flooding risks to its status as a Site of Importance for Nature Conservation, but remains as a waste site target of the land owning NLWA. Composting and AD (waste food treatment) appear to be the desires.
Many aspects of input appear to have been less than satisfactorily addressed by the boroughs and in some cases seem to be stretching credibility: key waste forecasts have been retained for 2020 despite (much lower) actual data being available, the use of which would be to remove any need for new waste land in the plan, eg Pinkham Way; a substantial site appears to have dropped between the cracks and again its capacity would have resulted in a no new land requirement; while a submission from the CEO from one site highlighting the correct capacity of his operation has not been followed, once again, with a similar no new land implication were it to have been followed.
There are other issues, not least of which is a high level approach which the NLWP believes should be followed London / UK wide and would guarantee surplus waste-management capacity everywhere, but after 14 years the matter is now in the hands of the inspector. The inspector has requested access to all recent commentary, which includes substantive input outside of the specific 115 MM’s that the boroughs have focused their responses on. We shall see what happens next.
An alternate? North London currently has no waste strategy; our key parties are waiting on a fresh, post Brexit, recycling acknowledging, circular economy driven, climate crisis aware approach from HMG which may be 1-2 years away. I can certainly envisage a strong case to pause a while and see what that might mean for waste in north London, a NLWP and of course the 50 year term incinerator.

Please Log in or Create an account to join the conversation.

North London Waste Plan - Further Consultation

Karl Brown

17 Aug 2021 18:13 #6152

Share share on facebook icon share on twitter icon Share by email

A busy period for any waste-watchers, with new data and an intriguing discovery.
Firstly, the publication of a new National Planning Policy Framework (NPPF) which landed with its immediate effect and resulted in a further, brief, consultation on implications for the never-quite-finished waste plan (NLWP). Cosmetic only said the north London planners; pretty crucial said the Pinkham Way Alliance (PWA). {Respective submissions should be available on the NLWP web site imminently.}
In particular PWA highlighted the NPPF’s green credentials and requirements which seem lacking in the NLWP when applied to the Pinkham Woods site, long coveted for waste management use; PWA also took the chance to highlight two different NLWP approaches taken on equivalent issues relating to existing waste sites, the outcome of which was to generate an apparent large waste management capacity gap requiring new land / plant to fill – inevitably Pinkham Woods. PWA was even able to submit a detailed e mail from the particular company’s CEO in support of their approach and the alleged error in the NLWP. And finally, clarification of the strategic approach taken in the NLWP was made (suggested) – ie you, that’s the NLWP, have the implications of your strategy wrong (we believe). This fundamental technical matter will not affect the incinerator but it would mean the existence of an (over) large incinerator would need to be balanced by a smaller something else. The actual NLWP approach of seeking more of everything, despite its stated strategy, will now be determined by the inspector. Have cake and also eat it is a strategy tried - and failed - at the highest UK level. It’s difficult to envisage this particular effort being any different.
Secondly, unaudited NLWA accounts for year end 31 March 2021 are now available via the NLWA web site. There is currently an open window for a few weeks where supporting papers can be viewed and objections more generally made by residents.
The accounts confirm that waste levels are down. The absence of any fit of these actuals with the ever rising levels of waste which was forecast as part of the incinerator business case, and commented on several times previously, therefore continues.
The draft accounts reveal a further £140m has been borrowed from government (Public Works Loans Board) for the new incinerator, making the current running total £240m as at end March. This is in addition to the £95m borrowed in a linkage to the original, failed, waste procurement for Pinkham Woods. There will be more. Waste management is clearly expensive.
Thirdly, on top of this debt, springing up from elsewhere are details of a fixed and floating charge in favour of a major UK clearing bank – that’s a legal charge to cover liabilities of some form supported by the bank which captures pretty much everything that moves as well as what doesn’t move, including potentially debts due to the organisation from such as Enfield borough. This is the “Rolls Royce” of bank legal charges typically used to secure borrowing and occurred days before one Pinkham Woods linked government loan of £20m was due to be repaid. The timing of audited accounts can mean that such things can never see the light of day. Our current incinerator, charged to a major clearing bank – who would have known.
It would be easy, but surely wrong, to assume, that a loan backed by this legal charge taken out on 3 April 2020 was linked to the repayment of a £20m government loan due nine days later on 12 April 2020 because the 2020/21 accounts in their section On Financial Risk Instruments are clear in saying such an event is of such low probability that it effectively will not happen at all. And obviously if it did they would have mentioned it.
So if not supportive of the £20m loan repayment then why was a charge taken over all fixed and floating assets by a leading UK clearing bank? {Audience holds their collective breaths waiting for an answer at this stage.}
Fourth, NLWA accounts for the previous year (31 March 2020) remain unaudited. Now roughly a year late, covid is the stated issue. PWA did raise some potentially significant issues with the auditor at the time which may also have something to do with it; while the comment in the just released 2021 accounts (see earlier) that the 2020 results, as stated for comparative purposes, may need to be restated, might indeed suggest all is not well at waste central.
The equivalent accounts at the time of the Pinkham Woods failed procurement were held up for three years due to several issues raised by individuals, not least the mysterious non-appearance of any liabilities relating to the contracted purchase of Pinkham Woods, all requiring more than a little clarification. A second set of accounting issues under the same chair would probably not look good at all. We must wait to see what transpires.
Fifth, the 2020/21 accounts also reveal a new Joint Waste Strategy (JWS) is being prepared between the waste authority and the seven north London boroughs. About time too it could be said, with the last one long since stale and actually expired in 2020. This one will work to move waste up the waste hierarchy - that’s generally away from landfill and towards recycling. The sensible timeline would be: waste strategy, waste plan, and then any resulting actual waste stuff (such as building an incinerator). Long plagued by approaches which fire before aiming, local waste things seem to get no better.
Finally, buy less stuff, borrow more of what you actually need instead, and reuse/repurpose/re***/ recycle everything you do buy, all means less end-waste to bury or burn, and that means lower taxes and a better environment for all of us. It’s certainly one strategy.

Please Log in or Create an account to join the conversation.

North London Waste Plan - Further Consultation

Karl Brown

21 Oct 2021 15:08 #6192

Share share on facebook icon share on twitter icon Share by email

Another £140m has been borrowed to support the development of the new incinerator with more expected, adding to last year’s £100m plus the several tens of millions pounds worth of debt rolled over from a previous exercise. Waste management is far from a cheap matter. We’ll be repaying these loans until February 2060.
The development is currently proceeding in the absence of a north London waste strategy, on hold pending the government providing guidance on UK recycling related matters, and a waste plan (NLWP) which remains with the independent inspectorate for a decision long after its public hearing in November 2019.
The waste plan is a set of policies and a calculation of any required new (and then protected) land for waste management. It has a high bar having wrapped itself around the Pinkham Way land for waste, or not, issue. Much effort went into developing a set of criteria which allowed the land at Pinkham Way into the pool of potentially useable areas, and much of that process has been under challenge. A whole series of land designation matters (eg it’s a SINC), green chain implications, apparent London Plan conflict and many other aspects would ultimately need to be successfully addressed by any planning application were it to potentially fall to a potential waste location; but before then the waste plan has to actually prove a need for incremental waste management land, such as Pinkham Way in the first place. This is where I suggest the NLWP delay now sits.
Waste and its management take many forms. We’re mostly familiar with black bin waste, now primarily going to the old Edmonton incinerator, and blue recycling which gets factory sorted before the differing types go their separate ways for on-processing. But there’s nothing to say the waste industry itself operates on council / county / city boundaries, and it doesn’t. So while the intent is that each area (north London in our case) manages its own waste, there is an acceptance of imports and exports, and some waste may even cross borders more than once in its processing journey. That leads to a concept of net self-sufficiency (NSS); basically to manage the equivalent of your own waste while accepting you will manage some of “theirs” while they manage some of yours, while noting such a network of give and take flows will involve multiple authorities. The issue is how to net it all out when calculating any fresh land needed for a waste plan.
PWA believes the waste authority has their revealed calculations roughly right but their approach fundamentally wrong. The implication could be UK wide and get to the heart of some wider overcapacity issues. For north London it could mean that building a too-large incinerator for its household and commercial waste would impact plans for how much north London land could be allocated for, say, the recycling of construction waste – more than enough in one place means less can be claimed as needed somewhere else. It would not stop the new Edmonton incinerator but as PWA have long said, that would then have knock on implications for other north London intentions. Pinkham Way for instance wouldn’t even get to the starting gate.
It is complex and has been a very long road to surface adequately but I would make a reasonable guess that after the latest series of consultations the inspectorate now sees the problem, as well as its wider implication. The latter is far from trivial. When the report and decision finally lands it could make for fascinating reading. It should be soon.

Please Log in or Create an account to join the conversation.

North London Waste Plan - Further Consultation

Karl Brown

02 Nov 2021 18:08 #6196

Share share on facebook icon share on twitter icon Share by email

And so the waste plan (NLWP) proved to be a Humpty Dumpty as forecast but in this case all the King’s horses and all the King’s men did manage to put it back together again.

After the previous posting it wasn’t long to wait for the inspector’s report on the plan after its 14 year gesticulation. And also as expected, it tanked, at least initially. “Overall Conclusion and Recommendation. The Plan has a number of deficiencies in respect of soundness for the reasons set out above, which mean that I recommend non-adoption of it as submitted, in accordance with Section 20(7A) of the 2004 Act.”

So that was seven councils, having retained numerous sets of consultants, QCs etc, to say nothing of the huge expense of planning officer hours trying to fit NLWA demands of Pinkham Way into council sized pots, falling before the finishing line.
But things weren’t actually over for the councils who had asked the Planning Inspectorate to make whatever changes were required to approve the plan should their final efforts fail (as indeed they did). I suppose that’s a bit like asking the examiner to correct any answers on your exam paper to ensure top marks, but it appears to be acceptable in this case. And so, “The North London Borough Councils have requested that I recommend MMs to make the Plan sound and capable of adoption. I conclude that the Duty to Cooperate has been met and that, with the recommended main modifications set out in the Schedule of Main Modifications, the North London Waste Plan satisfies the requirements referred to in Section 20(5)(a) of the 2004 Act and is sound. “
After November 2019’s examination hearings the councils made no less than 115 Main Modifications (MM) to their draft plan- a MM is a significant change of such a scale that it requires its own consultation. But even that rewrite proved inadequate so the inspector made his own mm’s to the council’s MM’s to get it over the line. After 14 years, coming up with something that can only be rescued by the body that’s there to scrutinising it isn’t the greatest PR story, but winner does take all.
The appendix of MM’s runs to 98 pages.
Because waste is now a hot topic in some quarters, albeit mainly because of the incinerator, it’s worth highlighting a couple of things:
Late efforts by Enfield Council secured a sort of not-in-my-back-yard approach to any new waste land, “Policy 2 promotes an ‘outside of Enfield first’ approach in considering new proposals for waste management”
Recycling is invariably going to be a question but just what is planned to meet stiff targets is a vacuum. We are promised answers:-
“The question arises whether the Plan should be more explicit in identifying how the recycling targets should be met. However, the Plan is a land use planning document and one of its roles is to identify land suitable for waste management facilities. It is part of a range of strategy documents required to be prepared by a number of organisations across North London to demonstrate, in more detail, how the recycling targets are to be met. The Borough Councils, as waste collection authorities, are required to prepare ‘Reduction and Recycling Plans’. In addition, the North London Waste Authority (NLWA) has a responsibility to prepare a strategy on how the Mayor’s recycling targets are to be met.”
On Pinkham Way / Woods, the land is now in as a waste site option but the inspector’s comments highlight several of the very real and very high hurdles that any application for planning permission would have to surmount before that happens. That particular issue still has a very long way to run.
There are disappointments but the jury has now decided. Yet much of the hard data which would have removed the need for the plan to identify a need for new land – such as Pinkham Way / Woods – somehow dropped out of the mix. My own favourite relates to a waste site in Enfield. Previously a relatively small transfer station it sought to expand and move up the waste hierarchy a lot of years back. Draft NLWP’s made much of this good news. That is until final years when its significantly increased capacity would have more than met the apparent capacity shortfall, and so no Pinkham Way or other new land would be required. So the story changed, the site apparently wasn’t developed to provide the new capacity, although there was planning approval. Against that revised scenario PWA submitted time-lapse video showing the actual development taking place; a press article showing an Enfield Cabinet member actually opening the completed site; and a letter from the company’s CEO confirming the new much higher capacity. But even that it seems wasn’t good enough evidence and so:-
“The Plan also refers to the Powerday facility in Enfield which is an existing site currently operating as a Waste Transfer Station. Planning permission has been granted for this site to be used as a Materials Recovery Facility capable of handling 300,000 tonnes of C&I and C&D waste per annum. MM33 proposes additional text to paragraph 8.10 of the Plan that identifies that it is not clear if the planning permission will be implemented and therefore this has not been added to the pipeline capacity figures in identifying the capacity gap.”
And on such impossible things to believe the future of things are determined.
There’s a brief summary of the NLWP’s context at the start of the inspectors report which I’ve added below. It may assist understanding. All papers are on the NLWP web site for anyone really keen.
Context of the Plan
7. The Plan is intended to provide the policy framework for decisions by the seven North London Boroughs on waste matters over the period to 2035. Each of the seven North London Boroughs have strategic waste policies contained within their adopted Local Plan. However, the strategic waste policies defer to this Plan to provide a more detailed planning framework for waste development.
8. One of the key tasks is to meet the apportionment set out in the London Plan (2021). This projects how much Local Authority Collected Waste (LACW) and Commercial and Industrial Waste (C&I) is likely to be generated in London up to 2041. It apportions a percentage share of these two waste streams to be managed by each London Borough with an objective that the equivalent of 100 per cent of London’s waste should be managed within London (i.e. net self-sufficiency) by 2026.
9. Each of the seven North London Boroughs have pooled their apportionments and propose to meet this collectively through existing sites and land allocated in the Plan. The Plan has two main purposes:
• to ensure there will be adequate provision of suitable land to accommodate waste management facilities of the right type, in the right place and at the right time up to 2035 to accommodate the amount of waste required to be managed in North London; and
• to provide policies against which planning applications for waste development will be assessed.
10. The majority of existing waste management sites are located in the east of the Plan Area, in particular in the Lee Valley corridor. The Plan is therefore underpinned by a need to secure a better geographical spread of waste management sites across North London and an objective to achieve net self-sufficiency for LACW, C&I, Construction and Demolition (C&D) waste and hazardous waste streams.

Please Log in or Create an account to join the conversation.

Moderators: PGC WebmasterBasil Clarke
Time to create page: 0.580 seconds
Powered by Kunena
Clicky