Councillors agree to £4.5m purchase of yard to expand Hertfordshire's Waterdale waste site

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

Thursday, 22nd July 2021, 11:35 am
Updated Thursday, 22nd July 2021, 11:36 am

Hertfordshire County Council WILL purchase the Brookdell Goods Yard, in order to expand the county’s largest waste transfer station.

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

And now that Waterdale site is set to expand, after a meeting of the county council agreed the £4.5m purchase of the adjoining Brookdell Goods Yard could go ahead.

Around 60 per cent of the county’s residual waste is processed at the Waterdale transfer station (C) Google Maps

Making the case for the purchase, executive member for resources and performance Cllr Bob Deering stressed the importance of the Waterdale site.

And he assured councillors that the £4.5m price – said to be equal to an offer by a competing bidder – had been validated by consultants.

He said the Brookdell site offered “a unique opportunity to expand and to safeguard the most significant asset for waste management in Hertfordshire.”

And he said: “If we do not take the present opportunity to acquire Brookdell, the site will be sold to the competing bidders and we do not know if the opportunity will ever present itself again.”

The move was also backed by Liberal Democrat Cllr Sally Symington, who said it appeared to represent an ‘unrivalled opportunity’ to expand and reconfigure the site.

She said it would offer the opportunity for operational improvements, including the installation of a shredding facility and a weigh bridge.

And although she suggested the price was ‘at the top end’, she said the operational benefits – and the opportunity to build resilience – justified the price.

She also welcomed the proposed new shredding facility to deal with bulkier waste and enabling waste to go to energy recovery facilities – rather than landfill.

And she said: “This will reduce greenhouse gas emissions and pollution levels will benefit from fewer vehicular movements.”

The proposal was also supported by the Labour group, with Cllr Tina Bhartwas suggesting it was “a great opportunity”.

During the debate Liberal Democrat Cllr Sara Bedford highlighted the backlog of vehicles from the Waterdale site onto the A405 – and the congestion it caused on connecting roads.

She said the queues had deterred some residents from using the HWRC and had caused tailbacks for waste collection authorities queuing to get in.

Executive member for the environment Cllr Eric Buckmaster said that the expanded site would have a second entrance for material that was to be shredded.

And he said: “… vehicles with items for shredding – and that is around 35 per cent of the vehicles – can be redirected to another entrance immediately relieving the queuing problem.

“And I absolutely take the point that that also counts for residents access as well – so that will also be looked at.”

Deborah Price, Local Democracy Reporting Service