An immediate legal challenge could be issued if the government agrees to give Norfolk £169m in PFI (Private Finance Initiative) credits to build an incinerator, it emerged today. It came as Environment Secretary Caroline Spelman’s office confirmed she has still not decided whether to rubber stamp the deal.

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Ms Spelman delayed the award of the credits last year as opposition mounted to plans to build the so-called energy from waste plant at Saddlebow.

She wrote to county council leader Derrick Murphy, saying the county needed to show proof that there was a broad consensus of support behind the plan.

Today West Norfolk council leader Nick daubney said: “We’re taking advice on this because of what she put in that letter to Derrick Murphy, we have every right to take legal action.”

West Norfolk council set aside £250,000 to fund legal action against the incinerator, after more than 65,000 West Norfollk residents voted against it in a council poll.

When the county council published Cory Wheelabrator’s planning application to build the incinerator, it received 2,639 responses, 2,550 of which were opposed.

Many expected an announcement to be made this week, with some predicting that the PFI deal would be approved.

But today an official at Ms Spelman’s office said: “We will be making a decision in due course - it’s still under consideration.”

Earlier, an MP warned the minister would be “in blatant contradiction of her own guidelines” if she agreed the deal.

North West Norfolk MP Henry Bellingham told campaigners that a decision to award the money could be overturned by the courts.

“If Caroline Spelman does give the green light to PFI credits, then this obviously would be in blatant contradiction of her own guidelines,” Mr Bellingham wrote.

“I would be quite staggered if it was not judicially reviewed, and I would also anticipate that there would be a very good chance of the case being won.

“For my part, I am doing all I possibly can to make her see sense; furthermore, I plan to go on fighting this every inch of the way during the planning process.”

Mr Bellingham could not be contacted this afternoon. Campaigner John Martin, who received the e-mail, said: “Caroline Spelman may be under intense pressure from the waste industry to make a sacrificial lamb out of Norfolk.

“However, she will be skating on thin ice, should she choose to do so. It is becoming increasingly clear that 2006 Joint Municipal Waste Management Strategy for Norfolk was never intended to support the principle of a mass burn energy-from-waste incinerator in King’s Lynn - or anywhere else in the county.

“This is despite what a number of our district council leaders would have her believe”

Earlier this week Norwich City Council wrote to Ms Spelman underlining its opposition to incineration.

Mr Daubney said: “We now have the two largest councils, representing a third of the population, saying we don’t support it.”

The incinerator has already seen one failed legal challenge. Campaigners failed to win leave for a judicial review of the county council’s conduct in awarding the contract to build and run the plant.

14 comments

  • I think it's time for West Norfolk and Norwich to withdraw from the Waste Partnership and pull the rug from under the incinerator by ramping up their efforts on waste reduction ,re-use and recycling, and generate far less residual product for the big burner. In so doing, they will also set new benchmarks for the other Norfolk districts to do better. That would hopefully make Norfolk think long and hard. How naive. I don't think anything makes the blinkered Norfolk leadership team leave their furrow.After all, they have some whizzy comprehensive fact-based reports from Mike Jackson's team to point the finger at when this all goes horribly wrong. Which it looks like it will.It would be nice to see the Norfolk Chief Exec making a stand for common sense ,the common purse, and sustainability. Maybe I won't hold my breath.

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    R!ffy

    Wednesday, January 18, 2012

  • When the truly awful news that is coming hits the NCC like one of those new Birmingham to London trains I for one will want to know who is going to pay the bills. They all should have known, officers and councillors and they should be held personally financially responsible.

    Report this comment

    alecto

    Saturday, January 14, 2012

  • I'd like to congratulate Chris Bishop for this particulary good report. West Norfolk have been subjected to some harsh treatment from the EDP for a long time, this is indeed refreshing, thank you.

    Report this comment

    Honest John

    Friday, January 13, 2012

  • Ask Cameron ,Osborne and Pickles about the progress of planning applications for Incinerators in their areas

    Report this comment

    warbler1

    Wednesday, January 18, 2012

  • RUSTY

    Sunday, January 15, 2012

  • I really can't see this incinerator happening, If it does a lot of peoples political careers are going to hit the buffers.

    Report this comment

    John L Norton

    Friday, January 13, 2012

  • And there's more coming.

    Report this comment

    alecto

    Friday, January 13, 2012

  • Well done Nick Daubney. Well done Henry Bellingham. Well done John Martin. NCC say that they will attempt to find alternative funding should the PFI bid fail but mark my words, this will be to the IMMEDIATE detriment of every single person residing in Norfolk. Derrick Murphy's cabinet will plunder every pot, from senior care through to local schools, from roads and pot holes to public transport and affordable housing in an effort to try to save face. They will try to fob us all off with an excuse about landfill but the truth is that this is all about arrogance and ego. NCC refuse to look at viable alternatives because they are now in the thrall of big business and the liability of £20m is now a reality because of their appalling mis-management of this whole situation. They do not care about local health, the local environment and the amount of trash tourism that will take place. It's now simply all about the people at county covering their backsides and nothing else.

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    User Removed

    Friday, January 13, 2012

  • Waste incinerators are not properly tested. Nano particles are not tested and these are the ones that are the most dangerous to health. We do not want it 65.516 peple said NO. All these large buildings along the River Great Ouse would act as a dam and direct flood water onto the town of King's Lynn. Great report Chris Bishop Thank you.

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    Jack

    Friday, January 13, 2012

  • NIMBYISM. North Norfolk Council issued a booklet to householders 2007.Reduce, Reuse, Recycle. The introduction mentions “who would want to live near a toxic incinerator”. Last week we hear they rejected underground wind farm cables. Broadlands Cllr Ian Monson was quite happy to lumber West Norfolk with an incinerator. Now the news that the stack from the proposed biomass burner at Thetford will be a blot on the landscape. Both districts had the brass nerve to submit letters of support for the incinerator at Kings Lynn. I wonder at the planning stage, will Parish councils be asked to vote on these issues as they were concerning the proposed incinerator at Kings Lynn. If not why not.

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    Knee deep In Toxic ash

    Sunday, January 15, 2012

  • The people who would have to inhale the toxic dioxins night and day from a waste incinerator burning 268.000 tonnes of waste that is mostly recyclable every year for the next 25 years on their doorstep are the ones that should count. 65.516 people said they did not want a waste incinerator in West Norfolk. It is pure ignorance by Norfolk County Council cabinet members to try every dirty trick in the book to force this on us. Thousands upon thousands of toxic ash would have to be buried in landfill. And the rest will go down drains into the River Great Ouse that runs into The Wash and would poison every living creature there. Waste incinerators are not properly tested, nano particles are not tested yet these are the dioxins most dangerous to health. It seems that greed is more important than health. I would like to thank Brenda Arthur for seeing things for what they are. And for her excellent letter to Caroline Spelman. Also I would like thank West Norfolk Council who are looking at alternatives.

    Report this comment

    Jack

    Saturday, January 14, 2012

  • The pro recycling campaigners have had generous help from groups the length and breadth of the UK. They know their product knowledge. NCC has got complacent but do not realise the whole waste industry and politicians are keeping an eye on Norfolk. At the end of the day Cory Wheelabrator have got too close to NCC. An example is the high Court action last month had proved NCC and CW pooled their resources to demolish an insignificant nobody namely Michael de Whalley. It reminds me of the Norman Wisdom film. The big modern bullying firm (consolidated dairies) from around the corner. I am sure many people from Norfolk were ashamed of NCCs bullying tactics and I expect it had been many raised eyebrows. Michael de Whalley in my mind will go down as a local hero for many years to come.

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    Knee deep In Toxic ash

    Friday, January 13, 2012

  • that incinerator seems too dangerous to health.states obvious.bet Spelman does not live anywhere near it.

    Report this comment

    bookworm

    Friday, January 13, 2012

  • Sadly, "bullying" seems to be a term you hear every day in the context of the ruling junta in County Hall.

    Report this comment

    Nemesis

    Saturday, January 14, 2012

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

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