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Norfolk's aborted incinerator site will not be sold, council leaders reveal

County councillor Toby Coke, who says the Saddlebow site will not be sold.

County councillor Toby Coke, who says the Saddlebow site will not be sold.

Archant

The Norfolk site where an incinerator was due to be built will not be sold, council leaders have insisted, but scotched rumours it is because it could yet become home to a burner.

Norfolk County Council voted to pull the plug on the controversial incinerator planned for the Saddlebow site in King’s Lynn a year ago, after officials said it no longer represented value for money. West Norfolk Council had expressed an interest in buying the site, but at a meeting of the full county council yesterday, councillors made it clear this was not going to happen.

Independent councillor Alexandra Kemp, who represents Clenchwarton and King’s Lynn South and had been an outspoken opponent of the project, asked about the future of the site.

Toby Coke, chairman of the council’s environment, development and transport committee, said: “This site will be kept by the council. What we need are smaller area plants which do not involve incineration and that’s been agreed by the council.

“To sell that site to the borough council would be asinine.

“There are rumours going around that incineration is going to come back in some sort of secret agenda. This is absolutely not the case.

“There will be no incineration on the site, but we need it for the smaller area plants we want to set up.”

Axing the incinerator left Norfolk County Council with a £33.7m bill, including compensation to Cory Wheelabrator, which would have built and run the plant.

The aborted incinerator had been recommended by an inspector to get planning permission, following a public inquiry. The delay in the secretary of state deciding whether to accept that advice was one of the reasons officers said the plant no longer offered value for money.

The county council is still working on a long-term solution for how to deal with the county’s waste. But, for the time being, some rubbish is being sent to the Great Blakenham incinerator in Suffolk to be burned.

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