Councillors were told today the proposed incinerator on the edge of King’s Lynn could have a larger carbon footprint that a landfill site.

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Members sitting on West Norfolk council’s planning committee were also told thousands of tonnes of incinerator bottom ash could be imported to King’s Lynn each year if plans for the plant go ahead.

Councillors agreed to add an additional objection to the project in light of information that up to 40,000 tonnes of bottom ash – a by-product of incineration – could be brought to the proposed site at Saddlebow for recycling.

It was also agreed a further objection would made if Norfolk County Council does not clarify discrepancies, to ensure information about the plant’s carbon footprint is robust, and provides a “credible assessment” of the potential carbon savings, if any, if the incinerator goes ahead.

Environmental management consultant Richard Burton spoke at today’s meeting and said applicant Cory Wheelabrator’s carbon assessment makes assumptions in favour of the incinerator.

He also told councillors: “The incinerator would have a larger carbon footprint than all the alternatives and landfill.

“The county’s waste core strategy aims to minimise carbon footprint so to have the incinerator would go against this strategy.

He later added: “The assessment artificially reduces the carbon footprint of the incinerator and it is quite clear there are lots of assumptions.”

Councillor John Loveless said, if true, this would be a “hard-hitting objection”.

Stuart Ashworth, the borough council’s planning control manager, said the discrepancies need to be sorted out and clarified and that Norfolk County Council needs to deal with this issue.

Councillor June Leamon also expressed her concerns about the impact the incinerator would have on people’s health at yesterday’s meeting.

She said: “I am very concerned about the police investigation centre which is so close to the proposed site.

“The people going there will have no choice and they will be at the mercy of dust or ingestion of hazardous material.”

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