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.

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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.

8 comments

  • There were SO MANY rules broken when NCC decided to approve the application that whatever Pickles decides the story will not end there. Material concerns raised but not mentioned in the officers report. Certain councillors did not even pretend to follow lain down proceedures and went of on a jolly of their own. Stone in particular displayed either his astounding ignorance or attempted to mislead the whole of the committee! That one will be interesting as it unfolds. We had Iles who had no intention of staying until the end to vote and walked out early afternoon after famously calling Mr Oliver a 'silly boy'! Gunson chose not to bother turning up! Rogers rates as the most incompetent chairman I have ever had the misfortune to watch. There was no debate, there was chaotic voting and doubt over what they were even voting for, the sound sytem did not work, members of the public were escorted to the toilet, members of the public were intimidated by cllrs and security staff. Oh yes the meeting was adjouned and not reconviened during HB's spat. No local Member allowed to substitue for Harwood despite knowing he would not attend. Committee members reporting they did not have enough information on material concerns to make an informed decision but being ignored. All in all just another day at County Hall not acceptable by any standard!!

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    Joy, King's Lynn

    Monday, July 16, 2012

  • I put up a post on this last night but as it was pointing out flaws in the planning committee decision obviously the powers that be have decided not to allow it to be viewed. How much longer can they continue to ignore, and cover up, all that is so wrong in our local government.

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    Joy, King's Lynn

    Tuesday, July 17, 2012

  • Hopefully,Pickles will call it in and cancel it.If he does the £20m breakage fee must not be allowed to fall on the people of Norfolk.We should not have to pay for Norfolk County Council's shambles.

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    Peter Watson

    Monday, July 16, 2012

  • yes Peter, but who should pay for it? If it is called in, for whatever reasons, then what is the plan B campaigners asked for so long ago, where are the zero waste sites the proposal for mechanical biological treatment? If the Conservatives do not come up with an implementation plan to this and many other issues they will be opposed by their own supporters and rightly so. Its the only way to concentrate their mind, loosing power.

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    ingo wagenknecht

    Monday, July 16, 2012

  • Having their own in-house Law Department that continually dismisses legitimate complaints made by the public is at the root of the problem. I suppose any complaint about them would be dealt with by them, and duly dismissed. Nicely wrapped up.

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    Honest John

    Tuesday, July 17, 2012

  • I suspect that it will be at least a couple of months before Eric Pickles announces his decision. The National Planning Casework Unit in Birmingham will only just have started on an analysis of the planning application, and the committee report. It also needs a copy of the minutes of the meeting on 29th June. These will not be approved until the end of this month. I am conscious also that the Unit has a pretty thick correspondence file, and it will no doubt also want to review all of the requests made for a call-in. Its ultimate task is to prepare a report to Mr Pickles, with a recommendation. He, personally, will do nothing until then. When he receives the report, he will make a decision (though I suspect that he will take confidential sounding on the likely political impact of his decision, whichever way it goes.) If there is a call-in, a public local inquiry will follow some months on. The inspector will then prepare his report and recommendations. Mr Pickles, or his successor if there is a Cabinet re-shuffle, will then decide whether or not planning permission should be granted. My best guess is that the call-in process would take us a further twelve months on from the date of the call-in itself. By then, the 2013 County Council elections will have taken place.

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    John Martin

    Tuesday, July 17, 2012

  • You can't have read the Conservative Home article on the County Council Peter. They are half a billion (not a typo) pounds in debt and it costs over £30 million for you and me and everyone else in Norfolk to service this annual interest repayment debt. £20 million is a drop in the ocean for this lot. It'll just get added to the half a billion. If the County Council was a public company those figures would render it insolvent and its directors would be answering difficult questions.

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    alecto

    Tuesday, July 17, 2012

  • Now we have a problem. Many political parties in West Norfolk are rounding up the troops to demolish the Tory stronghold at the next County Council elections. EDP24 has highlighted Kett`s Independent party. If Eric Pickles decides the incinerator should be built it will be total wipe-out for the Tories as the public will not forgive them. The only candidates to survive will be the ones that stood up to the bullies in their party.

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    Choice

    Monday, July 16, 2012

The views expressed in the above comments do not necessarily reflect the views of this site

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