Norfolk County Council agree that an incinerator will not be considered when dealing with waste in the future

The site where the incinerator would have been built. Picture: Ian Burt.

The site where the incinerator would have been built. Picture: Ian Burt. - Credit: IAN BURT

County councillors have voted to stop the sale of the site where the axed Norfolk incinerator was to be built.

And they have agreed that, when it comes to dealing with waste in the future, an incinerator will not be considered.

Land at Saddlebow, near King's Lynn, had been earmarked for an incinerator to burn Norfolk's waste.

But the contract with Cory Wheelabrator to build and run that controversial plant was cancelled by Norfolk County Council earlier this year.

However, the Secretary of State has yet to decide whether to grant planning permission for such a plant.

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And campaigners feared if that permission is eventually given, it could leave the way open for the site to be sold by the council to a company which wants to build a burner.

At today's meeting of the full council, UKIP leader Toby Coke put forward a motion that the council should ask its policy and resources committee to refrain from selling the site until it was established it was surplus to any future waste strategy requirements and not to sell it to any organisation or person planning to build an incinerator.

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The motion was passed by 66 votes to six, with six abstentions.

Tim East, Liberal Democrat councillor for Costessey and a long-standing opponent of incineration, seconded the motion.

He said it was 'pragmatic' to retain the site in case alternative, environmentally ways of dealing with waste could be based there.

Alexandra Kemp, independent councillor for Clenchwarton and Lynn South, had put forward a motion calling the policy and resources committee to consider selling the site to West Norfolk Council.

But her motion did not get a seconder.

The full council also considered whether incineration should form part of a future waste strategy.

The council's own waste advisory group had recommended that it did not, but the authority's environment, transport and development committee recommended that it should.

However, at today's meeting, the council agreed to an amendment to the strategy which inserts clauses that any waste plant must be further up the waste hierarchy than incineration and any evaluation of what sort of treatment to use must consider its carbon footprint.

The cancellation of the contract with Cory Wheelabrator led to the council having to pay out almost £34m in compensation and other costs.

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