Incinerator would have “negligible” impact, public inquiry in King’s Lynn told

PUBLISHED: 16:05 06 March 2013 | UPDATED: 16:05 06 March 2013

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

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

Archant © 2013

A waste incinerator proposed for the outskirts of King’s Lynn would have a “negligible” impact on the character of the town, the public inquiry into the controversial plant was told.

A landscape architect called as an expert witness by Cory Wheelabrator, the consortium hoping the build the incinerator, said it would be “in keeping with the character” of commercial and industrial development south of the A47.

Colin Goodrum said he had been called before three other public inquiries being held into proposed “energy from waste” plants.

He said the inquiry into the King’s Lynn plant different from those he had attended previously, because there had been few objections to the development on landscape or visual grounds.

“Low numbers or even absence of landscape objections is unique in my experience,” he added. “I acknowledge there’s a lot of objections on other topics, but on landscape and visual, that isn’t the case.”

Mr Goodrum said none of the major consultees, including West Norfolk council and the anti-incinerator group King’s Lynn Without Incineration (KLWIN) had objected on landscape grounds.

“My evidence demonstrates how the landscape has the capacity to, and is able to accommodate a development of this scale and nature, due to the industrialised context of the Willow Business Park and Saddlebow Industrial Area, and the simple, flat nature of the surrounding landscape,” he said.

“Effects on the character of King’s Lynn north of the A47 are likely to be of negligible magnitude and minimal significance.

“It would be in keeping with the character of the existing commercial and industrial development on the edge of the town south of the A47.

“The development would effect views from some public rights of way but these are already affected by views of existing development.”

Mr Goodrum said the scheme was “well-designed” and complied with planning policy.

“In conclusion, I am firmly of the opinion that the scheme has been carefully located and designed to minimise adverse landscape and visual impacts,” he added. “The site is a good location for a power and recycling centre, being able to accommodate the proposals in a manner that is in keeping with the existing character of the area.”

Yesterday saw the conclusion of evidence from John Boldon, from Cory. He was cross-examined by members of the public on points including who the plant could supply with heat and the poll carried out by the borough council.

Mr Boldon was then asked to clarify the relationship between landfill costs and incinerator gate charges.

He said landfill costs were continuing to go up, while gate charges at incinerators were falling.

The inquiry resumes this morning at the Professional Development Centre, on Kilham’s Way.

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