Appspond Lane Waste Site

2nd February 2018

Anne Main has expressed frustration at the ongoing, ‘monstrous blight on the green belt’ after learning that enforcement proceedings on the Appspond Lane waste site have again been delayed.

‘We cannot let this go.  The Appspond Lane scandal has been rumbling on for years,’ lamented Mrs Main.  ‘When we are considering the green belt in the local plan, we must remember that parts of it are blighted by eye-sores.

‘There is still 9,000 tonnes on the site, and the slow progress is simply unacceptable.  The site is not only a monstrous blight on the green belt, but it’s a fire hazard.

‘Recycling sites must be used for recycling, not for dumping.  When the vast majority of people dispose of their waste in the proper manner, they expect it to be properly dealt with – not to sit there permanently blighting their green belt.’

Hertfordshire County Council issued an Enforcement Notice on 21 October 2016 requiring the removal of all waste from the site.  An appeal was subsequently lodged by the landowners, with a public inquiry scheduled for December 2017. 

It was confirmed to the St Albans MP that the public inquiry has been postponed due to the ill health of one of the county council’s expert witnesses.  Consequently, the public inquiry has been rescheduled to commence on 10 July 2018 for an anticipated duration of four days, to be held at County Hall.

Anne recently tabled a question in parliament to environment minister, Dr Therese Coffey, asking what steps she is taking to monitor compliance with regulations at exposed wood-recycling plants.

The minister responded, ‘Businesses managing waste wood, including wood recycling plants, must have an environmental permit issued by the Environment Agency (EA). Smaller and lower risk wood recyclers are exempt from a permit, but must register a T6 waste exemption with the EA.

‘The EA monitors compliance at the 47 permitted facilities that recycle or handle large quantities of waste wood. All of these sites submit data and information to the EA annually, which is used to help assess their performance. In 2017 the EA made 62 inspections and 10 in-depth audits of these facilities, based on site-specific risk and performance.

‘There are currently 24,419 registered T6 waste exemptions. Due to their low risk status these sites are not routinely monitored. The EA carried out 127 inspections of these facilities in 2017, after their performance raised concerns.

‘A current government consultation is seeking views on changes to the T6 waste exemption as there is evidence that it can be abused.’

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