Council closer to sealing the deal on land to expand Hertfordshire's largest waste centre

Around 60 per cent of the county’s residual waste is processed at the Waterdale transfer station,

Thursday, 15th July 2021, 1:21 pm
Updated Thursday, 15th July 2021, 1:22 pm

Plans to expand Hertfordshire’s largest waste transfer station have inched closer – after leading councillors backed the proposed purchase of a neighbouring site.

Around 60 per cent of the county’s residual waste is processed at the Waterdale transfer station, in Watford – before it’s sent on to landfill sites or to be incinerated at ‘energy recovery facilities’.

And now Hertfordshire County Council hopes to expand the facility by buying the adjoining ‘Brookdell Goods Yard’ – currently leased as a transport yard to Mullany’s Coaches.

Waterdale transfer station (C) Google Maps
Waterdale transfer station (C) Google Maps

On Monday, July 12, a meeting of the county council’s cabinet backed the plans to make the purchase, for £4.55m.

And now it will be determined at a meeting of the full council next week (July 20) – which will decide whether to amend the capital strategy in order for the purchase to be made.

According to council officers’ report to the cabinet, this is a ‘once in a lifetime’ opportunity to expand and reconfigure the St Albans Road site.

It would enable the site to be developed to include a purpose-built facility for ‘shredding’ waste – reducing the cost to the council of further treatment.

And that could, say officers, fulfil the council’s ambition not to send any waste to landfill.

In addition, says the report, the redevelopment of the larger site could divert up to four in 10 vehicles from the current Waterdale entrance – improving queuing into the site.

Speaking in favour of the purchase at the cabinet meeting, executive member for the environment Cllr Eric Buckmaster said: “As members know planning permission for our own energy recovery facility was ruled out.

“So, it is important we have appropriate and strategically placed transfer sites in order to make use of facilities elsewhere and avoid landfill – and not forgetting, of course, the significant housing growth that we will be facing.

“So the improvement at Waterdale is part of the process of meeting these challenges amongst other initiatives that we have.”

Cllr Buckmaster also pointed to the pressure on the space available at the current site – and said it was “absolutely ideal” for the site next door to become available.

Executive member for resources and performance Cllr Bob Deering stressed that although contracts had been exchanged should the county council not agree to the purchase, there will be no financial loss to Hertfordshire County Council.

The purchase of Brookdell Yard will be determined by a meeting of the full county council on Tuesday, July 20.