Inquiry into canned Norfolk waste incinerator scheme is abandoned

The sun sets over Saddlebow, near the site of King's Lynn Incinerator. Picture: Matthew Usher.

The sun sets over Saddlebow, near the site of King's Lynn Incinerator. Picture: Matthew Usher. - Credit: Matthew Usher

An independent inquiry launched following the ill-fated waste incineration scheme in King's Lynn has been abandoned, it has been confirmed.

In April 2014, Stephen Revell was tasked with investigating the canned £610m incinerator scheme that was earmarked for Saddlebow.

But Cliff Jordan stopped the report within weeks of becoming leader of Norfolk County Council, saying: 'There is no point in flogging a dead horse at the taxpayers' expense.

'I didn't set up this report, but nothing has happened in two years and I see no point in spending taxpayers' money to make no further progress.'

He added: 'We are not going to get back the money spent winding up the incinerator project and there will be no incinerator on my watch.

'We now need to get on with things and sort out how we are going to deal with our rubbish in the future. Let's move on.'

The county council also clarified that Mr Revell was not paid for his time on the inquiry which aimed to understand how it was decided to terminate the scheme.

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But a letter seen by the EDP which he wrote to Mr Jordan on June 15 explains the report could not be published on the evidence collected.

It reads: 'The facts of the matter are that my investigation had no powers to require people to give evidence.

'Some key people either did not respond or did not agree to be interviewed which means that any report would be based on incomplete and potentially biased evidence.'

Michael de Whalley, founder of King's Lynn Without Incineration Campaign Group, said: 'The investigation and report are still absolutely necessary, not to apportion blame, but to ensure that neither the democratic deficit nor the shameful waste of £34m in taxpayers' money are repeated by Norfolk County Council.

'This issue won't go away just because the investigation has been abandoned after a two year wait.'

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