Too soon to give view on new incinerator, say county leaders
- Credit: Terry Harris
Leaders at Norfolk County Council have said it is too early for them to decide whether or not they back plans for a controversial new incinerator.
But they have scotched speculation County Hall is ready to send 250,000 tonnes of Norfolk’s waste to the proposed incinerator in Cambridgeshire, should it be built.
MVV Environment wants to build an incinerator on land off Algores Way in Wisbech, which would handle more than 500,000 tonnes of non-recyclable waste a year.
The scheme has gone out for public consultation, before a planning application is submitted for the plant.
That consultation, closes on August 13 and West Norfolk Council recently urged members of the public, businesses and parish councils to have their say.
Last year, Cambridgeshire County Council passed a motion opposing the incinerator, and vowed to fight the plans.
Alexandra Kemp, Independent county councillor for Clenchwarton and King's Lynn South, was among those who opposed Norfolk County Council's own plans to build an incineration at Saddlebow, which were scrapped.
At the Conservative-controlled council's cabinet meeting on Monday, she asked if they would oppose this burner.
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But Andy Grant, the cabinet member for environment and waste said: "The proposal by MVV is still at the pre application stage and as such the full details of the proposals and their implications is not yet known.
"The current consultation exercise is seeking views on the Preliminary Environmental Information Report.
"The purpose of which is to ensure all the likely environmental
impacts are addressed in any subsequent application.
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"It is not seeking views on support or opposition to any future proposal.
"We respect the positions made by our colleagues elsewhere, however for the reasons already stated we do not consider it necessary or appropriate to exercise planning judgement at this stage."
Miss Kemp then asked if it was true that the council had been speaking to MVV and was looking to sign a contract to send 250,000 tonnes of the county's waste to the burner.
Council leader Andrew Proctor said: "I have to say, I find that quite incredible and the short answer is no."
The project falls into the Nationally Significant Infrastructure Project process, so the final say on whether to allow the incinerator to go ahead will rest with the secretary of state for business, energy and industrial strategy.