Big guns brought out in Enfield recycling saga
A public inquiry into the controversial redevelopment of Enfield's Carterhatch Lane Recycling Site has been ordered by Deputy Prime Minister John Prescott.The decision has been welcomed by London's Mayor Ken Livingstone, who had asked for Government intervention to resolve his ongoing spat with the borough.
Enfield Council sold its resuse and recycling centre at Carterhatch Lane to a housing developer, against the wishes of the Mayor, who argued the sale was a departure from the London Plan, the document which guides development in the capital.
The plan requires all waste sites to be protected from redevelopment unless alternative provision is made to replace lost facilities.
Mr Livingstone is currently in discussions with Enfield over possible options for recycling provision within its borough.
"I welcome this decision by the Deputy Prime Minister," said the Mayor.
"It sends a message to all boroughs and private developers that they cannot expect to sell off sites currently used for recycling and recovery of waste without providing appropriate alternative provision."
London's recycling rates are amongst the worst in the country and more, not less, sites are needed if the situation is to be reversed (see related story).
"London needs more recycling facilities if it is to become self-sufficient in the management of its waste," said the Mayor.
"Enfield's short-sighted decision to sell off this site demonstrates the need for a single waste authority in London, with the ability to properly plan how we manage waste across the whole of the city."
Enfield, however, has argued that the Carterhatch Lane site was surplus to requirements as its introduction of a kerbside recycling scheme and other waste management initiatives over the past three years have led to a steady decline of public use of the borough's two sites.
The site is expected to close at the end of October.
By Sam Bond