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Campaigners launch Pinkham Way 'village green' bid to stop waste plant
A Muswell Hill community group is trying to use an obscure piece of legislation to designate land as a village green to stop a major new waste plant.
Chris Faulkner, chairman of the Freehold Community Association, has applied for Pinkham Way to be designated as a town or village green to stop the North London Waste Authority’s plan to build a huge facility dealing with about 300,000 tonnes of waste a year.
Under the Commons Act 2006, land may qualify for registration as a town and village green where it has been used by a significant number of local residents for more than 20 years for sports and leisure activities.
Registration of the land would protect the land, making it, amongst other things, a criminal offence to do anything that would stop use of the land for recreation and enjoyment – such as build the plant that would deal with waste from seven London boroughs.
Anybody, including residents of Enfield and Barnet, can submit their comments on the idea. Mr Faulkner said he had put £900 into preparing the bid, which Haringey Council is consulting on until July 20.
He added: “The land has been used by local people for the last 40 years for leisure and sport, and if I’d have heard about this legislation before I would have done something earlier.
“We have two years from when it was last used to submit an application, and the fences went up around the site in February 2011, so we are well within that timeframe.
“I’m quite confident about it being successful – we have all the evidence. If there are people who have used the site for recreational purposes then they should tell Haringey.”
Under the legislation, the council must deal with the application as it is the local authority, and it says it will appoint an independent assessor to hold an inquiry later this year.
This assessor will then make a list of recommendations to a special committee of councillors, who will consider the application and make a decision.
A six-day public hearing to assess the viability of the multi-million pound North London Waste Plan, which includes the building of the plant, was abandoned just two hours after it began earlier this month to give councils who are impacted a chance to be properly consulted.
Campaigners protested outside Haringey, Enfield and Barnet Councils last year against the idea, arguing the plant would bring heavy traffic to an already gridlocked A406 and affect air quality.