CONSULTATION on part of plans for a huge new waste plant in New Southgate may not have been legal, it has been revealed.

The North London Waste Authority wants to build what would be Europe's largest waste facility, dealing with about 300,000 tonnes of waste at Pinkham Way, off the North Circular Road.

Haringey Council announced in July that planning permission for the controversial development would not be considered until an independent planning inspector reports on the plan next April.

But in a letter from the Government's Planning Inspectorate three days after the announcement, the council has been accused of running a consultation that “could appear to be prejudicial to the interests of fairness and natural justice” and does not meet the “necessary legal requirements”.

The revelation relates to the four-week consultation on formally changing the use of the land at Pinkham Way from "employment" to "industrial", which only sought the views of those who had made previous representations to the council.

In response to the inspectorate – which oversees planning decisions across the country – the council has been forced to re-run the consultation in a six-week exercise until mid-October.

Campaigners and councillors opposed to the waste plant mentioned the consultation as part of a raft of objections at a council meeting in July.

Liberal Democrat councillor Juliet Soloman, whose Alexandra ward is affected by the plan, said: “The council is clearly on dodgy legal ground and has admitted this by starting again.

“To make matters worse, it even failed to tell many residents concerned that the consultation will be re-run.

“The inspector has agreed with local campaigners – who have spent a lot of their own time and money on lawyers - that the Pinkham Way land use was changed without residents having any chance to have their say.”

Campaigners protested outside council offices in Haringey, Enfield and Barnet earlier this year against the proposals, arguing the plant would bring heavy traffic to an already gridlocked A406 and affect air quality.

In a statement, Haringey Council said: “This is not about consultation on the proposed waste plant nor are we being 'forced' or even asked to re-run a consultation.

“But we do want a robust core planning strategy and, having taken on board the inspector's concerns about the document; we have taken the sensible decision to undertake additional consultation on the land designations element.

“Producing a core strategy is an ongoing process and we will continue consider the local community’s and planning inspector's comments and input.”