King's Lynn incinerator poll results will be revealed today
PUBLISHED: 07:21 01 March 2011 | UPDATED: 09:38 01 March 2011
Archant Â© 2011
Results of a public poll over whether an incinerator should be built near King's Lynn are set to be announced today.
Incinerator - the next step..?
County councillors will next week discuss whether to to award Cory Wheelabrator a 25-year contract to build and operate the incinerator.
County hall said it had considered “a number of proposed waste treatment proposals” before awarding Cory preferred bidder status in November 2010.
It said the plant would only be built if it was given planning permission.
While the county council will make the decision over the planning application, it is required by law to carry out public consultation.
In a statement last night, the council said it would examine “the relevant issues”.
A spokesman said public opinion would be taken into account during the planning process and there would be a full public consultation.
More than 120,000 ballot papers were sent out, asking West Norfolk residents whether they are for or against the plan.
Norfolk County Council claims it could cut the amount of waste which goes to landfill if it built the £500m plant at Saddlebow, saving the taxpayer millions.
But opponents claim there are better solutions to Norfolk’s waste problems than the incinerator, which they also claim would release cancer causing chemicals into the air.
Last night Ray Harding, chief executive of the Lynn-based council said: “The borough council has commissioned the borough-wide poll to ascertain the views of local residents on Norfolk County Council’s proposal to situate an incinerator in West Norfolk.
“The results of the poll will be made available to Norfolk County Council, the responsible planning authority for this proposal.”
Cory Wheelabrator, the company which hopes to build the plant, plans to release the results of its own poll today.
Researchers telephoned residents across Norfolk 10 days ago, asking them questions including which if any of the arguments in favour of allowing the plant would be most likely to change their minds towards it.
Campaigners claim the questions were loaded. Cory refused to provide the EDP with the wording.
Norfolk County Council said it could not include the arguments in favour of the incinerator on the council poll for legal reasons.
A county council spokesman said: “While we will note both results of both polls, the county council’s decision making must be governed by the procurement criteria we have adopted and the statutory planning processes which lie ahead of us, which include extensive public consultation.”
The result of the council poll is expected to be revealed this afternoon. We’ll be posting it live on EDP24, along with reaction from both sides.