The Rookery South (Resource Recovery Facility) Order 2011 - The Rookery South (Resource Recovery Facility) Order 2011 Contents

The Joint Committee

7.  Private Business Standing Orders 243(1) (HC) and 209(1)(HL) entitle each petitioner to be heard before the Committee in person, or by counsel or agent. A similar entitlement is given to the Minister responsible for the order, or, in certain circumstances, to the applicant for the order, as was the case with this Order for Covanta Rookery South Ltd.

8.  The Committee accordingly heard cases presented on behalf of Central Bedfordshire Council and Bedford Borough Council on four petitions (petitions Nos. 36 to 39)—one each of general objection, and one each of amendment—and on behalf of three companies, Waste Recycling Group Ltd, WRG Waste Services Ltd and Anti-Waste Ltd, on one petition of amendment (petition No. 35).[4] The burden of proof in hearings under the Special Procedure lies with the petitioners, and the Committee is required after hearing the case on each petition to decide whether there is a case to be answered

9.  Substantive hearings began on 24 October 2012 and concluded on 13 February 2013. The Committee also visited the Rookery South site on 28 November 2012.


10.  On 12 December 2012, we reached the following decisions. First, by a majority vote (Lords Faulkner of Worcester and Geddes dissenting), we concluded that there was no case for Covanta to answer in respect of either of the petitions of general objection—petitions Nos. 36 (Central Bedfordshire Council) and 38 (Bedford Borough Council). Secondly, and unanimously, we concluded that there was no case to answer in respect of petition No. 35, a petition of amendment from WRG. Thirdly, and again unanimously, in respect of the petitions of amendment offered by the two Councils—petitions Nos. 37 (Central Bedfordshire Council) and 39 (Bedford Borough Council)—the Committee considered that there was a case to answer only in respect of amendments proposed in relation to the planned Bedford to Milton Keynes Waterway.

11.  Covanta and the two Councils (Central Bedfordshire and Bedford Borough) proceeded to reach agreement on how the matters covered by those amendments might be dealt with. In essence, an agreement under section 106 of the Town and Country Planning Act 1990 requires Covanta to provide up to £3,375,000 towards the costs of the works required for construction of the waterway. The full agreement is published on our web pages, along with the minutes of evidence. [5] Accordingly, we agreed on 13 February 2013, to report the Order to both Houses without amendment.


  1. We set out below the reasons for these decisions. We deal first with the two petitions of general objection from Central Bedfordshire Council and Bedford Borough Council (Nos. 36 and 38), and then with the two petitions of amendment from the two Councils (Nos. 37 and 39), and finally with the petition of amendment from WRG (No. 35).

4   This petition is hereafter referred to as the WRG petition. Back

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Prepared 28 February 2013