King’s Lynn incinerator funding on chancellor’s list

The chancellor's announcement of a �30bn plan of investment in new infrastructure projects confirmed – as expected – welcome improvements to the A14.

However, there was no immediate good news on funding for the so-called Postwick Hub scheme proposing changes to the A47 near Broadland Business Park, on the outskirts of Norwich.

For our region, there were no surprises among the list of 500 national projects earmarked for funding over the coming decade.

The controversial King's Lynn incinerator remains on the list for nearly �150m, although it still subject to a decision by secretary of state for the environment Caroline Spelman.

Funding is also proposed towards the East Anglia Array windfarm project and the construction of a new King's Lynn power station.

While some opponents of the incinerator scheme were hoping it would not be on the list, South West Norfolk MP Elizabeth Truss said: 'I would have expected the funding to be earmarked. A letter from Defra said they wanted a consensus to be achieved but I would still expect it to be on the list of projects. I have always said Norfolk should retain the money, but the scheme should be modified to reflect local opinion.

'I am not against waste to energy plants in principle; it is the scale and the location.'

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Ms Truss welcomed the fact the chancellor had chosen to redress the balance on spending between welfare and infrastructure.

She was not disappointed there were not more schemes proposed for Norfolk as the county had already been boosted by the A11 improvement scheme and funding for upgrading broadband.

She was hopeful that the chancellor's announcement of more investment for Network Rail would allow the ugrading of the Ely north junction to permit a better service on the Fen Line; it could also mean improvements on the Norwich to Cambridge line.

Great Yarmouth MP Brandon Lewis said what was significant was the government's strategy of unlocking �20bn of pension fund money for infrastructure investment. He said: 'If this works and pension funds see a return it could mean the start of bigger things; It could make projects like the third river crossing in Yarmouth achievable.'

Graham Plant, Norfolk County Council's cabinet member for planning and transportation, said:

'As far as the Norwich Northern Distributor/Postwick junction scheme is concerned, an early announcement would have been great, but we have been working towards a December decision.'

Bill Borrett, cabinet member for waste and environment, said: 'I am pleased to see the Norfolk Waste PFI project is listed among the country's most significant developing infrastructure projects. I am obviously keen to hear confirmation from the Secretary of State regarding funding.'

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