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West Norfolk leaders to challenge county council on finances for proposed incinerator on land near King’s Lynn

PUBLISHED: 16:54 30 January 2014 | UPDATED: 01:13 31 January 2014

Elizabeth Truss MP. Picture: Ian Burt

Elizabeth Truss MP. Picture: Ian Burt

Archant © 2012

West Norfolk political leaders are set to challenge Norfolk County Council on its finances for the proposed incinerator plant on land near King’s Lynn.

MPs Elizabeth Truss and Henry Bellingham and West Norfolk council leader Nick Daubney will discuss the incinerator at a press conference at the borough council officers in Chapel Street, King’s Lynn tomorrow.

The leaders have undertaken a study of the costs of the disposal of waste across the UK, and in continental Europe, and they plan to present a financial breakdown of the proposed waste to energy plant and other schemes available.

They will also be calling on the county council for financial clarity in relation to the proposed plant.

Last week it emerged that an alternative facility to the controversial incinerator had received a £100m boost.

Funding has been secured for the project which will see Chester-based company Material Works operate a plant in the West Norfolk area.

With funding secured work is set to start on a detailed planning application for the construction of the multi-million pound facility which will be lodged with Norfolk County Council.

The new self-contained plant will treat residual waste as a raw material resource and turn it into a usable end product.

However, David Harrison, cabinet member for environment, transport, development and waste, said: “I’m very sceptical about this latest development, given that this concept has already been around for about 18 months. A demonstrator project was reportedly meant to have been up and running in Norwich by April 2013 and there have not yet been any informal discussions with our planning officials.

“Aside from that, this project - which would use untried and untested technology at an as yet unknown site somewhere in west Norfolk - would need an Environmental Permit to operate and planning permission, from which a planning inquiry may flow. All of which takes time, as we know.

“For those reasons alone, this project is clearly many years away from becoming a reality, whereas The Willows is ‘shovel ready’ having passed a vigorous number of value for money tests and secured a permit to operate at a suitable site. We have today been told by Eric Pickles’ department that he is not yet in a position to make a decision on whether or not The Willows can proceed. We need a decision from Mr Pickles as a matter of urgency and it should be one made on planning grounds. The issue should not be confused by alternative technologies which may, or may not, come to fruition in the future.”

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