King’s Lynn incinerator campaigners buoyed by Prime Minister David Cameron’s comments
Norfolk campaigners were buoyed today after prime minister David Cameron said an approaching inquiry into the proposed Saddlebow incinerator should 'listen' to their views.
Mr Cameron made his comments in Parliament yesterday after being questioned on the issue by North West Norfolk MP Henry Bellingham.
Speaking to a packed House of Commons at prime minister's questions, Mr Bellingham highlighted the poll that took place last year in which 65,516 people voted against the incinerator plans - a 92.7pc 'no' vote.
Since then a planning inspector has called in Norfolk County Council's decision to approve the incinerator proposal, with an inquiry into the plans beginning in February.
Responding to Mr Bellingham the prime minister said: 'It's very important that the planning system does listen to local people and proper processes are followed. And I'm sure that [Mr Bellingham will] work very hard in this case to make sure that happens.'
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South West Norfolk MP Elizabeth Truss, who signed a letter asking for the incinerator decision to be called in, said she was 'extremely pleased' at the prime minister's comments.
She said: 'The referendum made it very clear that it was a 'no' to the incinerator in Henry Bellingham's constituency and I will continue to work with Henry to ensure the authorities understand that this plant is too big and in the wrong location.'
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Meanwhile anti-incinerator campaigner Mike Knights added: 'I'm very pleased to hear that central government is taking it seriously. I'm very excited by that.'
But County Council leader Derrick Murphy suggested the prime minister was simply being 'diplomatic', pointing out that previous challenges to the incinerator proposals had already taken account of the public opinion expressed in the local poll.
Meanwhile he added that the impending inquiry into the incinerator decision would look into the planning process only.
He said: '[The poll] took place in February 2011. Now we are in October 2012. So why has it taken Henry Bellingham so long to raise it?
'There have been two attempted judicial reviews about the county council process and in both those judicial review requests, sent to two separate High Court judges, the local advisory poll was mentioned and in both occasions the High Court judge said they had been taken into consideration.
'On both occasions the judicial review request was rejected.'