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Infant school staff in Dollis Hill say dump plan will risk children’s health

PUBLISHED: 14:44 06 December 2017 | UPDATED: 14:44 06 December 2017

Former Dollis Hill Liberal Democrat councillor Alison Hopkins, centre, with fellow Stop The Dump campaigners

Former Dollis Hill Liberal Democrat councillor Alison Hopkins, centre, with fellow Stop The Dump campaigners

Archant

Petitions objecting to a rubbish dump being located near homes and an infant school in Dollis Hill have gained more than 1,400 signatures in a fortnight.

Campaigners are opposing a planning application which has been submitted to Barnet Council for a waste transfer station (WTS) in Geron Way, Cricklewood, which is part of the larger Brent Cross redevelopment plans.

Alison Hopkins, a former Liberal Democrat councillor for Dollis Hill, has distributed 4,000 letters warning neighbours of the blight coming to the area.

In two weeks 1,000 paper signatures have been returned which she has posted to Barnet Council and a further 440 objections submitted online.

She warns of food waste, general waste and all kinds of recycling coming from all over London, which will then be taken back out again, with added dust and pollution from the trucks delivering it.

She said: “The outcry around here has been incredible. All those letters were distributed by local people who have got together to fight this.

“There’s a case to bring it to a judicial review. It will cost about £30,000 but I bet we could fundraise. More than 10,000 people live in Dollis Hill, if each person gives a couple of quid we could do it.”

Our Lady of Grace Infant School has lodged a separate objection on Barnet Council’s website calling for a halt to the scheme as it has not been consulted.

It states: “As we have not been consulted in any way, which is not in keeping with the regulations for proposed new sites, we question whether the consequences of siting [sic] this WTS on the local community and local infant school have been weighed.”

It adds: “We believe that the very close proximity of this WTS to an infant school of very young children is of grave concern.

“Its proposed site will undoubtedly have an adverse effect on the health and well being of the children. We are under an obligation to provide a safe environment for our children and strongly believe that the WTS would jeopardise this.”

A spokeswoman for the school said: “Our priority is the wellbeing of children and of staff and to ensure their safety so they are not exposed to any pollution that’s damaging to health.”

A Barnet Council spokesman said: “We understand the proposal for a replacement waste facility has generated a lot of public feedback and commentary. The new, replacement facility will provide a bulking station in response to the wider waste management strategy of the North London Waste Authority (NLWA) and Barnet Council. The facility will be fully enclosed, which will mitigate noise and smell.

“Throughout the summer, we held an extensive public consultation exercise, including a number of workshops, where local residents, businesses and schools were encouraged to provide feedback to the existing proposals. A number of changes have been made to the scheme as a result of that public engagement, including a 75 per cent reduction in the size of the waste facility.

“The delivery of this new state-of-the-art waste facility will help pave the way for the construction of a brand new Thameslink station, as part of the Brent Cross regeneration scheme, and the delivery of new homes, offices and community facilities. The overall scheme will also create 27,000 new jobs over the lifetime of the project.

“The consultation has now closed and planning officers will now be considering the application.”

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