May 19 2013 Latest news:
By Chris Bishop
Tuesday, March 5, 2013
As the incinerator public inquiry resumed today, the planning director of the firm behind it told the hearing why he believes they should be allowed to build it.
The Willows site at Saddlebow, near King’s Lynn, offers the ideal site for an “energy from waste” development, said John Boldon, from Cory.
“It lies in the Willows Business Park, in the vicinity of compatible land uses including a power station and a paper mill and has good access to the strategic road network,” he went on.
“Most importantly, it would be in harmony with the scale and character of the surrounding development. It is in a position to have an easy connection to the national grid and has tremendous CHP (combined heat and power) potential.”
More than 100 people crammed into the Professional Development Centre, off Kilham’s Way, as the public inquiry resumed this morning.
Before she opened the hearing Elizabeth Hill, the government inspector appointed to oversee
proceedings and recommend whether or not the incinerator should be given the go-ahead, said she had taken advice over whether or not she should try to obtain an unredacted copy of the contract signed by Norfolk County Council with Cory Wheelabrator, the consortium it has appointed to build and run the plant.
Miss Hill said she had been told that powers she had to demand a copy should only be used if it would not be possible to reach a decision about the incinerator without the document. She said at this stage, she was not convinced it would be necessary.
Mr Boldon said the technology chosen for the plant was “an efficient, cost-effective and tried and tested solution”.
He said the incinerator had been designed to take 170,000 tonnes of waste from Norfolk and 105,000 tonnes of commercial and industrial (C&I) waste from the King’s Lynn area.
He added the contract required the plant to treat a “minimum tonnage” of 170,000 tonnes.
“The contract provides flexibility for Cory Wheelabrator to make up any shortfall in the minimum tonnage by sourcing C&I waste from the large quantity of such waste that needs diverting from landfill,” he added.
Mr Boldon said he did not agree that the result of the poll carried out by West Norfolk council, which showed overwhelming opposition to the incinerator, should be taken into account.
“My reasons for disagreeing include an objection to the wording of the poll question and the statement sent out with voting papers supporting a No vote, as well as the fact the poll was undertaken in advance of the Willows planning application being lodged and EIA (environmental impact assessment) being undertaken,” he said.
“This prevented a balanced case being put before the electorate. The poll was also conducted at a time when the local paper and objectors were adopting an emotive campaign.”
Mr Boldon summarised the benefits which Cory claim the plant would bring.
They indcluded reducing the need for landfill, providing 300 jobs during the construction phase and 40 once operational, producing enough energy to power the equivalent of 36,000 homes, recycling 5,000 tonnes of metals and making £100,000 a year available for local projects.
He said were the application to be refused, it would have “serious consequences” for Norfolk’s drive to move waste away from landfill.
The inquiry continues with cross examination this afternoon.
Nearly 3,000 people have supported a Facebook campaign demanding safety improvements on the A47 near Dereham set up after the latest fatal crash.
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