In 2011 to 2013 Parliament considered a Special Procedure Order concerning the proposed construction of a resource recovery facility near Stewartby, Bedfordshire.
The Rookery South (Resource Recovery Facility) Order 2011 was a special procedure order which sought 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 had to undergo special parliamentary procedure before it could have effect. This procedure permits specially and directly affected individuals and groups to present their arguments against the order to a Joint Committee appointed for that purpose.
On Tuesday 29 November 2011 a 21-day petitioning period opened for people specially and directly affected by the project to indicate that they would like to give evidence to a Joint Committee of both Houses of Parliament. 39 petitions were deposited against the Order. You can look at these by following this link on the left hand side of this page.
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").
On 8 March 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 below).
The Chairmen decided that five of the petitions should be referred to a Joint Committee. They also raised two aspects of the statutory framework under which Parliament considers Special Procedure Orders and called on the Government to take action to deal with the anomalies in that framework before laying any further such orders.
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 stood referred to a joint committee of both Houses for consideration.
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 Joint Committee reported the Order without amendment. For further details see the Joint Committee's Report.
Publication of that report concluded the Special Parliamentary Procedure on the Order.
See more on this Order