Power plant expansion on former incinerator site means recycling centre would have to move

The site near Saddlebow. Picture: Matthew Usher.

The site near Saddlebow. Picture: Matthew Usher. - Credit: Matthew Usher

The recycling centre at King's Lynn could be moved to make way for the extension of a power station, where council bosses once wanted to build an incinerator.

County councillors today agreed that land which Norfolk County Council owns at the Willows on the edge of King's Lynn, is now surplus to County Hall's future waste strategy.

That frees up the land for the council to consider leasing it to EP UK Power Development for a planned power station extension.

But if the plans for that extension go ahead, then King's Lynn recycling centre, which is next to the power station site at Saddlebow, would need to move 250m down the road to allow space for the expansion.

The county council says the power company would cover all the costs of the move. If it goes ahead, work on a replacement recycling centre could start next year.

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The old site would not shut until the new one is complete and ready to open.

Independent county councillor Alexandra Kemp, who represents Clenchwarton and King's Lynn South was one of the opponents of the incinerator which had been proposed for the site, a plan which the council scrapped in 2014.

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She said she was pleased the site had finally been removed from the waste plan and said: 'It is really important that council has at last voted to take the Willows site out of the County Waste Plan today. 'The site's future purpose will be for carbon capture for the next-door site that Centrica sold to EP last year with the 2009 planning permission for a power station.

'While a power station was not our first choice, it has to be said that the local community has secured two important concessions: EP have committed to use natural gas to run the turbines, instead of diesel, and EP have also agreed not build the 400 MWT cadmium ion battery storage facility which we understood would have been a fire risk to the local area.

She added she was pleased that the recycling centre would be replaced.

Martin Wilby, chairman of the county council's environment, development and transport committee, said: 'We expect to see a smooth transition from one site to a new one just down the road, and welcome the fact that there would be no cost to taxpayers as a result of the need to move to a site 250m from the current one.

'Plans for the new recycling centre would need to go through the usual planning and permit process, so people will have opportunities to have their say as part of that.

'In addition to the statutory consultation process I'd urge people who may wish to let us know at this early stage anything that we may not have thought about in relation to a move to please get in touch via haveyoursay@norfolk.gov.uk.'

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