Rookery South (Resource Recovery Facility) Order 2011

A Special Procedure Order concerning the proposed construction of a resource recovery facility near Stewartby, Bedfordshire is currently before Parliament.

A 21-day petitioning period opened on Tuesday 29 November 2011 for people specially and directly affected by the proposed construction of a resource recovery facility near Stewartby, Bedfordshire to indicate that they would like to give evidence to a Joint Committee of both Houses of Parliament - if one is appointed to consider whether the project should go ahead.  The petitioning period has now finished and there will be no further opportunity for anyone to petition against this Order.

A ‘petition’ in this context is a document in a specific format that outlines how the proposed use of Rookery South pit affects them and why they think the proposal should not go ahead. 39 petitions were deposited against the Order. You can look at these by following the link on the right hand side of this page.

The Rookery South (Resource Recovery Facility) Order 2011 is a special procedure order which seeks to enable Covanta to construct an Energy-from-Waste Facility (EfW) and a post treatment Materials Recovery Facility (MRF) in the former brick clay extraction pit, called the Rookery South pit, near Stewartby in Bedfordshire.

The order has to undergo special parliamentary procedure before it can have effect. This permits specially and directly affected individuals and groups to present their arguments against the order to a Joint Committee appointed for that purpose.

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Image: Covanta

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The Joint Committee tasked with considering 5 petitions against the Order has now been appointed.  The members are MR Brian Binley, Lord Dear, Bill Esterson, Lord Faulkner of Worcester, Lord Geddes and Paul Uppal.  The committee will appoint a chairman at its first meeting on Wednesday 4 July 2012.  Further information about the Joint Committee and its proceedings can be found on the Committee's web page (by following the link in the tab on the left-hand side of this page).

The 21 day Resolution period (when either the House of Lords or the House of Commons could have halted the progress of the Order) expired on 27 May 2012 without a motion for annulment being agreed to by either House.  Accordingly the petitions from the Waste Recycling Group Ltd and two other companies, the Central Bedfordshire Council and the Bedford Borough Council against the Order now stand referred to a joint committee of both Houses for consideration. The joint committee will consist of 3 Members of the House of Commons and 3 Members of the House of Lords. A further announcement, with details of the committee’s membership, will be made in June.

The First Special Report of the Chairman of Committees, House of Lords and the Chairman of Ways and Means, House of Commons on the Rookery South (Resource Recovery Facility) Order 2011 was published on 1 May 2012. 

The purpose of the report is to announce and explain the decisions about which petitions are proper to be received, following the period for petitioning against the Order which closed on 19 December 2011 and the hearing on 8 March 2012.

As well as determining which petitioners are able to appear before a joint committee of the two Houses, the Chairmen’s Report raises two aspects of the statutory framework under which Parliament considers Special Procedure Orders. It calls on the Government to take action to deal with the anomalies in that framework before laying any further such Orders.

At 10:15am on 8 March (in public, in the Thatcher Room, Portcullis House) the Chairman of Committees in the House of Lords and the Chairman of Ways and Means in the House of Commons considered the 39 petitions and the 78 memorials deposited against those petitions. They heard evidence from the agents representing both the petitioners and the memorialists. Follow this link for the corrected minutes of evidence + correspondence of that meeting.  They reported their decision, with reasons, to the House of Lords and the House of Commons (see above).

On 10 January 2012 the Government and Covanta Rookery South Limited (the applicant for the Order) each deposited an objection to every petition (each objection is known as a "memorial").

The petitioning period ended at 5pm Monday 19 December 2011 and 39 petitions were deposited against the order.

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