Government still mulling over decision on King’s Lynn incinerator

PUBLISHED: 17:30 16 July 2012 | UPDATED: 16:22 17 July 2012

The proposed incinerator site at Saddlebow. Picture: Ian Burt.

The proposed incinerator site at Saddlebow. Picture: Ian Burt.

Archant © 2010

The government will not be rushing to decide whether to call in Norfolk County Council’s decision to grant planning permission for an incinerator in King’s Lynn.

The county council’s planning committee agreed at the end of last month to grant permission for the Willows Power and Recycling Plant at Saddlebow.

But the council can so far not issue a decision notice, because communities secretary Eric Pickles has yet to decide whether to call-in the decision.

He announced before the meeting that he wanted more time to consider whether to take that course of action, which would see a public inquiry into the issue.

There had been speculation that a decision would be taken before Parliament’s summer recess begins today, but a spokesman for the Department for Communities and Local Government today said there was no time limit within which Mr Pickles had to reach his decision.

All nine of Norfolk’s MPs have asked for the incinerator issue to be called in, while West Norfolk Council is hoping to secure a judicial review into the decision by environment secretary Caroline Spelman to approve £91m in PFI funding to Norfolk County Council to go towards the cost of the proposed incinerator, which would be run by Anglo-US consortium Cory Wheelabrator.

While the county council says the plant is vital to deal with Norfolk’s waste, a poll carried out by West Norfolk Council saw 65,000 people vote against it.

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