Legal papers were being served on Environment Secretary Caroline Spelman today, as West Norfolk council pressed ahead with its application for a judicial review of her decision to agree funding for a controversial incinerator.

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West Norfolk is seeking a judicial review of Ms Spelman’s decision to award £91m in Waste Infrastructure Credits (WIC) to Norfolk County Council, to cover the cost of building the “energy from waste” plant at Saddlebow.

The council’s case hinges on an apparent change of heart on Ms Spelman’s part. After warning the county council she was concerned at the strength of opposition to the plant last November, the Environment Secretary announced in January that she would award the WICs.

Ms Spelman’s department sent information explaining the decision, in response to a pre-action letter from West Norfolk last month.

Today West Norfolk council leader Nick Daubney said the council’s lawyers had examined the evidence, and advised that it grounds to seek the judicial review.

“We have not taken this step lightly,” Mr Daubney said. “We have received the advice of our QC and considered the evidence before us and it remains our contention that the Secretary of State has failed to demonstrate or evidence the reason for her change of mind.”

West Norfolk argues that the “broad consensus of support” needed to grant WICs does not exist. It says a poll which returned a 65pc turnout of voters showed 93pc were against the incinerator.

It also argues that Norwich City Council is opposed to any form of incineration in Norfolk and local MPs oppose the Saddlebow proposal.

Guidelines on the awarding of WICs state: “Proposals should demonstrate that other relevant authorities, the public and interested parties have been consulted and that there is a broad consensus supporting a recognised long term waste management strategy which is reflected in the proposed solution.”

Defra’s response to the council’s pre-action letter warned that West Norfolk did not have any “arguable grounds” to challenge Ms Spelman’s decision.

A judge will now decide the next step in proceedings. He or she could grant permission for a full judicial review, throw out the action or order the parties to attend a preliminary hearing.

West Norfolk councillors last year voted to set aside £200,000 to cover the costs of the legal action.

Last week, the authority formally requested Communities Secretary Eric Pickles to “call-in” the planning application, so it would be determined by an independent inspector after a public enquiry.

33 comments

  • Joy. The USA has not allowed any incinerator to be built since 1995. My theory! They have been aware of health problems linked with incinerators similar to the tobacco industry. New cleaner technology has taken over. The hope is as time moves on compensation claims will diminish. The Environmental agency is now trapped if they suddenly decide to aim for zero pollution. Similar to the study on birth defects will be viewed as insignificant because big business (Incinerator Companies) in Europe and the USA have an abundance of money and influence. Example High Court action and Michael de Whalley had lost the case. NCC asked for costs of around £15000 but Cory Wheelabrator wanted £75000 obviously as they had used expensive advice to bankrupt him. I would imagine in time taxpayers will be liable for health issues concerning incinerators. Kings Lynn town was built before all these polluting plants and it is bad planning and immoral to allow any more pollutants over a densely populated area.

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    Choice

    Monday, April 9, 2012

  • Nemesis, perhaps when Cory Wheelabrator realised they were not going to get away with building their monstrous cash cow, they decided to cut their losses and twist certain arms at Norfolk County Council and persuaded them to sign the contract. I can't think of any other reason why the contract was signed when it was. Perhaps someone from Norfolk County Council has another explanation. I'd like to hear it. Well done West Norfolk Council!! I consider that council tax money well spent. Shame on Norfolk County Council for making it necessary, and for wasting so much money and effort on this doomed project.

    Report this comment

    Barking

    Thursday, April 5, 2012

  • The House of Cards is continuing to fall. Murphy has withdrawn his bid to become the County Councillor for Freebridge division- watch out the rest of Norfolk he may end up as YOUR councillor! Nemisis - the answer to your question is arrogance and the destruction of West Norfolk Borough Council, its leader and MP - all because Murphy couldn't get control.

    Report this comment

    maryjane

    Friday, April 6, 2012

  • As much as I hate to admit it, I think the incinerator will be built and Murphy will be able to breathe clean air when he moves house! The more I hear about this scheme and those involved - including now Brenda Arthur - the more I begin to agree with people who feel the current people deciding these issues are seriously out of their depth. Corrupt? maybe not. Incompetent? Almost certainly. There is a saying that you can promote people to their level of incompetence and that does seem to apply to Murphy, Borrett, Steward, Arthur and the rest of this rabble. Why they can't just come clean with the electorate is beyond me. That is why people just do not believe what they say anymore. The only people who seem to have any reason to hold their heads high on this are the Lib Dems who have fought against Murphy every step of the way but it is always difficult to dislodge a dictator!

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    smithrob

    Thursday, April 5, 2012

  • As part of the Waste Management Partnership Norwich City Council and all the other districts in Norfolk knew that waste from energy was likely, I think 10 years ago at least. And not just one plant at that! Landfill is a blot on the landscape and waste of resources. Please inform us more of the consequences of landfill.

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    bedoomed

    Thursday, April 5, 2012

  • Joy. You are so right. These alternatives have not been explored, neither have they explored or assessed the risks of incineration. The fact are that the scheme relies on a certain quantity of waste being delivered every year for 25 years. The emissions are toxic and will land on the people living within the fall out area. The top ash and the bottom ash will need to be collected, transported and disposed of. The ash will be mixed with water to produce a slurry (no doubt they will not be restricted during and drought conditions). There different types of waste management including Aerobic Digestion and MBT. These systems are much more flexible to demand and allow an easier and less dangerous ultimate waste. A Judicial Review will hopefully put these alternatives back on the agenda and allow for a proper assessment of the risks (and costs) of all alternatives.

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    norfolkngood

    Thursday, April 5, 2012

  • Make no mistake here. The incinerator was in the pipeline long before Murphy was in politics and long before he moved to the area. It was Daubney and Brian Longs baby and they knew all about it and did all they could to support it. Now, for some strange reason, they want to waste a fortune of tax payers money going to court to fight a case they cannot win. Why ? Because in future (at election time ) Daubney and Long and their cronies will be able to say "We did everything we could to stop this " What a bunch of bare faced truth economists.

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    Dickens

    Saturday, April 7, 2012

  • bedoomed is either being deliberately obtuse or is a NCC councillor in which case facts are an unwelcome part of the argument. It matters not one whit when incineration was taken out of the Waste Partnership. Unless the document is changed after unilateral and multilateral discussions it remains the same and the time elapsed is totally irrelevant. Are you saying that, since the lawmakers made murder illegal in Britain hundreds and hundreds of years ago that so much time has elapsed that that particular law doesn't matter any more? Time Elapsment is irrelevant.

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    alecto

    Thursday, April 5, 2012

  • Looking on the bright side- Murphy may not even stand again - the pattern is he goes in to something with the plan to destroy, then when he has created as much ill-feeling and chaos he leaves for someone else to pick up the pieces while he goes back to his miserable little existence. As has been proved in the past this is his way of operating. Wherever he moves to this will continue to be his objective. The NCC was warned. However, he and his wife have probably made enough money to permanently retire - didn't someone say something about him learning to drive?

    Report this comment

    maryjane

    Saturday, April 7, 2012

  • If the Borough Council's claim is successful - as it very well may be - NCC are going to be short of £169m over twenty-five years. In this financial climate, how can they replace a sum like that? But they still went ahead and signed the contract with Cory Wheelabrator, knowing that a claim such as this was quite likely. What on earth possessed them to do that before the time limit for making a claim had expired? Is there some hidden agenda?

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    Nemesis

    Thursday, April 5, 2012

  • The £200,000 could have been spent on micro-particle air filtration masks and paper body bio-suits for the children who attend schools within the saddlebow toxic wipe-out zone. Who is going to pay for all those masks now? Paper body suits....now there is an idea that could appeal to Palm Paper.

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    Rhombus

    Thursday, April 5, 2012

  • The Issue i not Murphy.It was Daubney and Brian Long who wanted this all along. Just recently they both changed their minds and now want to throw away a fortune on legal costs on a case they know they cannot win. This is nothing more than political campaigning at the tax payers expense by the Conservative led council at King's Lynn. Last time they ever get my vote. Disgusting and transparent.

    Report this comment

    Dickens

    Sunday, April 8, 2012

  • These proceedings will reveal much that Norfolk County Council would prefer us not to know.

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    John Martin

    Thursday, April 5, 2012

  • I pity the residents of West Norfolk who are naive enough to think that this is nothing more than political campaigning at their council tax payers expense. Daubney and Long soon changed their mind when they realised they might lose a fewer NIMBY voters - it's so transparent. Haven't a hope of winning. Spelman and Pickles are both pro-incineration as it accords with the National Waste Strategy and last year's Waste Review. KL suffers from deprevation and unemployment - why deny an opportunity for growth, investment and jobs at the outside chance you might occasionally have to glimpse at a well designed, modern building? Get out of your 1950s time warp.

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    Yorkshire

    Tuesday, April 10, 2012

  • This is welcome news. It still has to be asked why Dr Palm, who, when he announced he was opening Palm Paper here, said that he wanted to support the people of King's Lynn and be a "Good Neighbour" has remained silent on the issue and, more tan that, has agreed to profit from the incinerator. This is shameful behaviour of Dr Palm and he MUST give an answer as to why he is now acting against the interests of the town in which he wants to be welcomed.

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    Carborundum

    Thursday, April 5, 2012

  • The Norfolk Waste Strategy was first published in August 2002, and was then updated in 2006. The point has to be made that it has been in all 8 authority's ken for nearly 10 years, and was originally advertised to 250,000 residents via " Your Rubbish Your Choice" in 2000. So some consultation has taken place, and is now happening via the planning process.

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    bedoomed

    Thursday, April 5, 2012

  • Carborundum, would you put your comments in a letter to the Lynn News about Palm Paper, let Dr Palm read for himself what people of King's Lynn think of him. Unless he wants it to be known as Wolfgang's Incinerator, he certainly has been the magnet for it. As far as signing the contract, CW would only be making payments out if they had some money guaranteed. Didn't a Jeffrey become a unit of currency after Archer's envelope? So we could be getting a Borrett, a Murphy and top of the shop a Jackson.

    Report this comment

    Honest John

    Thursday, April 5, 2012

  • Everyone interested in incinerators should read todays Monday 9th April Times, National revolt hits plans to burn waste, and Private Eye article Feel the burn. Of course some may feel that NCC know better!

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    Joy, King's Lynn

    Monday, April 9, 2012

  • Norfolk needs to stop voting for the Conservatives because they do what they like and seem to take your votes for granted.

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    I LoveNorfolk

    Thursday, April 5, 2012

  • Interesting article in this week's Private Eye on incinerators. Page 30.

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    LARSON.E. WHIPSNADE

    Friday, April 6, 2012

  • Yorkshire, Don't feel sorry for me. I live in King's Lynn and I know exactly what the conservative party, Defra and the EA are up to. No one here is naive in fact the ordinary man in the street in West Norfolk has more knowledge about incineration in thier little finger than the 'yes men' conservative members and officers at county hall have in their collective brains!

    Report this comment

    Canary Boy

    Wednesday, April 11, 2012

  • @Yorkshire - if the best you can do is accuse the people of King's Lynn of living in a 1950s timewarp because they don't want a modern well-designed building then you've got a great deal of catching up to do. Where to start?

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    User Removed

    Tuesday, April 10, 2012

  • Madbrewer, Murphys house is on the market, yours for 330,000.00 if you fancy seeing the incinerator stack and plume on a daily basis. Latest rumour is he has made an offer on a house in Bawburgh well away from Lynn, Snetterton and Gt Yarmouth!

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    Joy, King's Lynn

    Friday, April 6, 2012

  • "Obviously u seem unaware that I am planning to buy a more expensive house in west Norfolk!!" Murphy's own words in an email last week. Surely he can't be moving, wouldn't that make his words a lie?

    Report this comment

    Honest John

    Saturday, April 7, 2012

  • Yorkshire, No one in King's Lynn is naive except perhaps conservatives who think they are fooling anyone. We probably will end up with an incinerator, due to predetermination and collusion, BUT those in power will end up being held to account for their part in this whole sorry tale. Did you read the Times yesterday or Private eye?

    Report this comment

    Joy, King's Lynn

    Tuesday, April 10, 2012

  • Well, Joy, if Murphy is moving to Bawburgh then we know who is going to the chucked out of their council seat. Step forward the member for Humbleyard. As they say, it's deja vu all over again. She was the one dumped to give Dan Cox, the previous leader, a seat last time. Oh well, one thing, she must be getting used to it.

    Report this comment

    alecto

    Friday, April 6, 2012

  • Is it true that Derrick Murphy has put his house "on the market"? NIMBY?

    Report this comment

    Mad Brewer

    Friday, April 6, 2012

  • how many youth centres could stay open with the cash norfolk county council has spent fighting this ?

    Report this comment

    Double Bill

    Thursday, April 5, 2012

  • Bedoomed, you seem to think that the options are incineration OR landfill that is a nonsense that NCC have portrayed. There are many ways of dealing with waste and before you inform me that MBT results in some waste still going to landfill consider the FACT that the ash which comes from incineration also ends up in landfill either immediately if there is no buyer for it OR after approx 20 years as a much bulkier toxic cement. The mix can range from 15% - 50% ash to other cement components which react with each other and become toxic. MBTAD produces an inert waste which may be landfilled if again a buyer is not found but it, unlike cement, is not bulked out with other elements and it is not toxic. The joint municiple waste management strategy was only signed in September 2006 after all reference to incineration was removed, prior to that South Norfolk had refused to join up so because NCC needed all districts to join they removed two paragraphs that detailed incineration. From January 2007 Norwich City Council also opposed incineration in any form. Norfolk County Council need to very quickly go back to the drawing board and come up with another technology MBT, AD, Autoclave are all greener and normally acceptable to the public as was shown when MBT was chosen for Costessey, there were no public objections to that project.

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    Joy, King's Lynn

    Thursday, April 5, 2012

  • Yorkshire. Do you really think this is going to bring vast amounts of employment to Kings Lynn. If built (God forbid) it will have a few hundred people in employment (only a proportion from Lynn) for less than a year then 40 people to maintain it. If you think that will solve an area's employment problem you need to polish up your abacus. Furthermore the people of Lynn are driving their councillors not the other way round. I don't think I have ever come across such a determined bunch and that may annoy you and other burner boys but it makes us in other parts of Norfolk very proud of them. And their brave fight is now getting the national and international importance it so deserves. Perhaps you could suggest somewhere in Yorkshire for this incinerator to be built. Go on, make yourself popular with your own folk as well!

    Report this comment

    alecto

    Tuesday, April 10, 2012

  • If this ghastly incinerator is built and uses millions and millions of gallons of water every year, will the only spare water in Norfolk be the editor of this newspaper?

    Report this comment

    alecto

    Saturday, April 7, 2012

  • Well, Joy, if Murphy is moving to Bawburgh then we know who is going to the chucked out of their council seat. Step forward the member for Humbleyard. As they say, it's deja vu all over again. She was the one dumped to give Dan Cox, the previous leader, a seat last time. Oh well, one thing, she must be getting used to it.

    Report this comment

    alecto

    Friday, April 6, 2012

  • Full marks to King's Lynn and West Norfolk Borough Council for taking this action. I fear they may not have enough in the £200, 000 put aside to fight this, but they are standing up for their residents. DEFRA should never have got involved, they can hardly be called an impartial observer and could be said to have over stepped the mark in making their comments. They are, after all, merely a government department and thus not immune from political interference.

    Report this comment

    norfolkngood

    Thursday, April 5, 2012

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

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