A fresh row has broken out on the eve of a crunch meeting over whether an incinerator is built in Norfolk, with objectors accusing the county council of stifling their time to speak.

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The public have been allocated a 30-minute slot in which to have their say at tomorrow’s meeting of the county council’s planning committee, which they must all share.

And it has emerged police are set to attend the meeting, which is likely to be highly-charged, in case there is unrest.

Norfolk County Council’s planning committee is set to consider whether to grant permission for Cory Wheelabrator’s controversial incinerator at Saddlebow in King’s Lynn.

The Willows Power and Recycling Centre proposal, which has been bitterly opposed in West Norfolk, is being recommended for approval.

Councillors will be presented with a report running into more than 570 pages about the proposed plant, which the county council says is needed to deal with the county’s waste,

The report by officers states: “This is a key proposal in terms of making a major provision for the treatment of Norfolk’s waste and moving this up the waste hierarchy from landfill.

“The proposal would have the additional benefits of generating energy in the form of power to be exported to the National Grid and with the potential for heat and steam to be supplied to an adjacent major industrial development.”

Of the 8,375 responses from members of the public, 7,609 have objected, with 644 statements in support and 122 comments.

Among key reasons for objections are that it goes against planning policy, that peer-reviewed studies show a link between incinerators and poor health, the localism agenda is being ignored, people would rather see alternative technologies used, the site is in a flood risk area and, having already agreed to award the contract, the council’s own planning committee cannot be trusted to fairly and objectively consider the application.

West Norfolk Council, which held a poll in which 65,000 people said they were against incineration, objected, as have dozens of parish councils, including 49 in West Norfolk, nearest to the proposed plant.

County Hall officers state that “technical evidence” provided by Cory Wheelabrator has been “rigorously examined” by the county council’s consultants and statutory consultees and has “been verified as demonstrating that there would be no adverse impacts on air quality, on human health and on designated habitats”.

Officers conclude: “The proposal is considered to accord with the development plan and other material considerations including national planning policies also indicate the planning permission should be granted.

“Accordingly it is recommended that planning permission is granted, subject to conditions.”

Anti-incinerator campaigner Mike Knights said he would be surprised if committee members went against officer advice.

He said: “I have seen nothing to suggest to me that the meeting is going to be anything other than them just going through the motions.”

He hit out at the limited time for members of the public to speak, with at least 29 people wanting to have their say in the 30 minute slot.

Henry Bellingham, North West Norfolk MP, a long-standing objector to the plans, has also criticised the lack of time allocated, with him having to take a share of that slot.

But a spokesman for Norfolk County Council said: “The planning application has been the subject of four public consultations and we have published all comments received and the level of objections is reflected clearly in the final 570–page report.

“We understand this is an important issue for all parties, which is why we extended the time for all speakers. “The time for members of the public objecting to the proposal and for the applicant and supporters of the proposal had been extended from the statutory five minutes to 30 minutes.

“It’s important that the committee has adequate time to consider all the issues but the chairman has some discretion in relation to the conduct of the meeting and no doubt he will exercise it appropriately.

“Notwithstanding the limit which we have to put on time for speaking there is no possibility of people’s views going unmarked by the planning committee.”

The spokesman added the planning committee will listen with “an open mind” and will come to a decision based on the evidence.

The county council’s cabinet agreed in March last year to award a contract to run the plant, which could deal with 268,000 tonnes of waste a year.

Environment secretary Caroline Spelman awarded £91m of waste PFI credits for the scheme in January, after requesting the county council to provide “additional material” and evidence of ‘broad consensus’ supporting the county’s waste strategy.

There are 17 councillors on the planning committee, but it is understood at least two of the councillors who usually sit on it will not be at tomorrow’s meeting. They will be replaced by substitutes.

• The EDP will be tweeting from the meeting. Keep an eye on what’s said and join in the conversation using #klinc

dan.grimmer@archant.co.uk

25 comments

  • What has David Cameron done for West Norfolk I have sent him many emails about this waste incinerator proposal and I am very sorry to say I have not had one single reply from him. His Big Society would be better called Secret Society and his Localism Bill would be better called Snub the locals no matter what.

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    Jack

    Saturday, June 30, 2012

  • This is so reminiscent of the Poll Tax in 1990 which of course led to the removal of Mrs Thatcher.Whose head could be on the block for the Saddlebow Incinerator?

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    Peter Watson

    Thursday, June 28, 2012

  • The incompetence of NCC never fails to amaze! What are they thinking about, we all know that they will approve the application, their officers have told them too, they will have to pay CW £20.3 million compensation if they don't and its their plan anyway!!! If any of them had an sense they would have held a two day meeting, as other authorities have for similar developments, so they could at least have pretended to be going through the motions. Whoever advised 30 minutes for any of the 7609 (and rising) objections to be verbally given to council should be out on their ear looking for another job. Only good thing about it is I am sure Mr Pickles will look at comparisons with other authorities, the many complaints he already has about the many problems to date with this lot of cowboys and decide his own independent planning inspectors should step in to prevent a dreadful injustice taking place. Of course are part is to make sure the councillors responsible for this whole farce are removed in May.

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    Canary Boy

    Thursday, June 28, 2012

  • I agree Ingo - this is probably NCC's PR department trying to undermine the public perception of anyone who might be opposed to their incinerator scheme by trying to make out that they are an unruly and violent mob. Nothing is further from the truth - the REAL yobs are the ones who make up the Council and Cabinet, as anyone who has sat in the public gallery during their meetings will testify.

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    User Removed

    Thursday, June 28, 2012

  • This is so reminiscent of the Poll Tax in 1990 which of course led to the removal of Mrs Thatcher.Whose head could be on the block for the Saddlebow Incinerator?

    Report this comment

    Peter Watson

    Thursday, June 28, 2012

  • The Willows proposed waste incinerator King;s Lynn sounds nice but would be be better called HELL ON EARTH.

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    Jack

    Sunday, July 1, 2012

  • The issue that peaked my interest was the incredible fact that simply by burning household rubbish we make the most toxic substances that we have ever been able to make in a chemical laboratory: polyhalogenated dibenzo para dioxins and furans (PCDDs, PCDFs, PBDDs, PBDFs etc) called "dioxins" for short. There are literally thousands of these substances.Incineration releases many toxic metals from otherwise fairly stable matrices. At worst these metals (lead, cadmium, mercury, chromium etc) go into the air, at best they are captured in the fly ash in the air pollution control devices (APC). But it is a truism to state that the better the APC the more toxic the ash becomes. Where is this ash going to go? Do you know where the ash is going in this proposal? For every four tons of rubbish burned you get at least one ton of ash: 90% is called bottom ash (that is the ash collected under the furnace) and 10% is the very toxic fly ash. There is nothing new about nanoparticles, which are particle of less than one micron in diameter. They are produced in any high temperature combustion This has raised the question of whether they have any negative health effects. That question has given rise to a new discipline called nanotoxicology. It turns out that these particles have exquisite biological properties which are very worrying. They are so tiny that they can cross the lung membrane and enter the bloodstream. Once there they can enter every tissue in the body including the brain. The problem with incineration is twofold: a) because every object in commerce is likely to end up in an incinerator any toxic element used in these products is likely to end up in the nanoparticles. The nanoparticles from incinerators are the most dangerous of any common source. b) There are NO regulations in the world for the monitoring nanoparticles from incinerators. In most countries the particles regulated are 10 microns and above.In some countries they regulate particles at 2.5 microns. But neither standard comes closer to monitoring nanoparticles. We are flying blind on this crucial issue.

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    LFB

    Thursday, June 28, 2012

  • Daisy Roots get your facts right King’s Lynn & West Norfolk Borough covers an area of 550 square miles, with a population of approximately 135,000, which is projected to grow to 145,000 by 2011. • Located in Norfolk (population 803,000, projected to grow to 845,000 by 2011). •) • King’s Lynn (population 40,000) is the main town serving a population of 200,000 in northwest Norfolk, northern Cambridgeshire and southern Lincolnshire.

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    LFB

    Friday, June 29, 2012

  • If the objecting grass roots democrats attending the meeting dare to cough or fart, the police will see this as a security risk and drag them out.I was taken out of the council chamber just because some young wippersnapper next to me could not hold his mettle and wait until the meeting got going. Expect that the whips will ensure that councillors vote this plant, dangerous to human and animal health, through and then get organised for next years CC elections. Meeting of Independent minds on the 14th. July at Wymondhams United reform church.

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    ingo wagenknecht

    Thursday, June 28, 2012

  • Given that it is rumoured that David Harwood is not going to attend, the only right and proper thing to do is allocate his 10 minutes speaking time to Henry Bellingham as he is the only other democratically elected person who's ward covers the same area. Of course, NCC won't do this as they dont actually give a stuff about democracy and want to railroad this development through....

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    User Removed

    Thursday, June 28, 2012

  • I find the prospect of a police presence at the meeting tomorrow quite outrageous, as I am sure do all those who plan to turn up as well as those who cannot, many of th 65.000 who voted against the incinerator in the first place. I think it should be made public who instigated this action and for whose benefit. Is it the ever hopeful Chairman of the Police Authority if so it is a warning how expressions of dissent could be dealt with in the future. I do suspect however that it is the dear leader himself who stated with some pride early on in his appointment that 'it goes with the job- the need for police protection!! Why doesn't he behave like a professional in the first place andlike those attending the meeting tomorrow become a responsible human being?

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    maryjane

    Thursday, June 28, 2012

  • Ah Fenscape, those words “right and proper” we understand them, and of course you are quite correct in what you say, but have NCC done anything ‘right or proper’ …. No, and they are not going to change this habit now. Their actions all along have been arrogant, but now their actions are fear-based, they have gone to planning following the date in the contract they signed, it was not ready, questions hadn’t been answered, Norfolk Wildlife Trust latest shows huge gaps, the BC rightly say they still want answers and Joy Franklin’s attached letters from the EA admit the site could flood in an hour without notice, no chance of barriers around the toxic IBA, fears raised by the PIC go unanswered, Dr Harries refuses to reply to local people, all these are signs they have run out of excuses to hide behind. They have every reason to be frightened, Waste Management Inc are not a company to mess with, the fun is about to start!

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    Honest John

    Thursday, June 28, 2012

  • Every time a community builds a incinerator it sets back the real solutions by 25 years - the time it takes to pay back the massive investment involved. Every time you burn something you have to go back to the beginning of the linear society (extraction- manufacture-consumption-waste). After 25 years you are no closer to sustainability. All you are left with is a pile of ash of approximately one quarter of the mass of the rubbish that was burned. Promoters claim that incineration produces energy and fights global warming. This is utter nonsense. Three - four times more energy is saved by recycling the same materials as burned. One European company estimates that a combination of recycling and composting reduces global warming gases some 46 times more than incineration generating electricity.

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    LFB

    Thursday, June 28, 2012

  • Plus I remain astonished that they found 65,000 people out of a parliamentary constituency of 73,000 in West Norfolk who could be bothered to walk to a post box with their vote. Of course I am probably over looking that the district council electorate is probably much higher as it is swollen by EU citizens who are allowed to vote in local but not national elections.

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    Daisy Roots

    Friday, June 29, 2012

  • The vote counts for little- the incinerator is to serve all of Norfolk and since all of Norfolk was not asked what it thinks, all the vote shows is who in West Norfolk does not agree. As for bottom ash, once again I would ask what the objectors think happens to all the non recyclable material from all other treatment processes other than landfill? Inconvenient truth-it ends up being burned or buried. And why does a sensible country like Denmark manage this system? And has done for years? Object to it being in Lynn, object to the wheeler dealering or even the cost but don't pretend that all of Norfolk would oppose it nor that alternative solutions are perfect. And I have no idea who tweeted NFN when microphones did not work but that sort of remark has no place in the EDP.

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    Daisy Roots

    Friday, June 29, 2012

  • This is just madness! The only unruly behavior I have EVER witnessed has come from the Leader of Norfolk County Council! They want to brand all those opposed to the plan as trouble makers and yobs. In reality the people who have been researching and objecting to this are all highly professional people who despite being treated like criminals for having an opinion contrary to Murphy! The rest of Norfolk take heed, this is how you will be treated, and abused, if Murphy desides he wants to dig up a runway near you, build an incinerator, dig out a quary (to fill with toxic ash) or build 38000 homes and a road to nowhere. All of course for your BENEFIT and with your hard earned cash!

    Report this comment

    Joy, King's Lynn

    Thursday, June 28, 2012

  • No, honest John. It has been confirmed that there will be no recording. Is this a surprise to you. Isn't to me! I ask the planning councillors to once again do the decent thing. If they do not realise what this is doing to Norfolk then quite frankly they are too thick to be Councillors and should just go away and leave decent people alone.

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    alecto

    Thursday, June 28, 2012

  • I wonder what colour they will paint the incinerator chimney? I think buttermilk with a cobalt blue border would look nice. What do EDP readers think the colour should be? Perhaps Norfolk schools could have a competition to design the most attractive chimney stack?

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    Rhombus

    Friday, June 29, 2012

  • Am I missing something here,what sort of council allows a contractor to dictate the terms of the contract of which they are tendering for. If they are not awarded planning permission the customer has to pay them £20,million,talk about having your cake and eating it.

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    LFB

    Thursday, June 28, 2012

  • Has anyone seen Derrick Murphy lately SOS ????

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    Jack

    Sunday, July 1, 2012

  • Everyone take note of the names of those councillors who vote for this monstrosity and betray the people of Norfolk. Remember them and in the election next year do not vote for them. They have shown what they think of Norfolk and democracy and should not be allowed to represent decent people.

    Report this comment

    alecto

    Thursday, June 28, 2012

  • First you say the incinerator is well sited for Lincs and Cambs waste, now you’re saying it’s to serve all of Norfolk. Is that why planning objection was opened up to the whole of the UK, so that Milton Keynes and Yorkshire could add their support? It is not sited for Norfolk’s waste, had it have been, it would be in a more central and accessible place, as required by the proximity principle. Denmark, who you constantly cite, are reconsidering their EfW industry, neighbours Sweden are very concerned about health risks. Unlike the UK, where the waste industry suggests siting incinerators in areas of current poor air quality and high incidences of breathing problems, so that their effects can been deemed negligible, all the public bodies who should be protecting the public’s health and environment then roll over and tow the line, as we have shamefully witnessed here in Norfolk. Having a wrong national policy does not make incineration right, non-recyclable materials should not be allowed, start at the root of the problem, stop justifying this current situation. Of course, people in West Norfolk are very lazy, so the result further highlighted the strength of local feeling – well pointed out.

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    Honest John

    Friday, June 29, 2012

  • If the planning committee had an ounce of sense and decency, it would neither grant nor refuse planning permission. Instead, it would resolve not to determine the planning application on the ground that it is basically offensive to do so in the present circumstances. That would leave Cory Wheelabrator to appeal and the all-important planning inquiry before an independent inspector would result. there would be no need to trouble Mr Pickles any further. It is hardly likely that the inspector would penalise NCC over costs in a case such as this. But would the Tory members of the planning committee risk the wrath of Derrick Murphy and whatever political futures they have?

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    Nemesis

    Thursday, June 28, 2012

  • How about an off the wall idea Mr Martin? NCC realise they have dropped an almighty clanger by signing the contract for such an awful proposal with a horrible consortium, the PFI is wrong and will cost us all a fortune instead of a saving, and now they are doing their best to give enough justification to Pickles to get it called in and stopped. Now we just need NCC’s refusal to have the whole thing recorded. Actually, has anyone asked for it to be recorded, that is a MUST!

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    Honest John

    Thursday, June 28, 2012

  • Why has NCC consistently refused to state whether or not the planning committee will include members who have also taken part in the procurement process? (At least four have been identified.) I have asked the planning officers three times for confirmation that Cllrs Dixon, Duigan, Gunson and Joyce will not take part and they have declined to give a substantive reply.

    Report this comment

    John Martin

    Thursday, June 28, 2012

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

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