Record numbers respond to planning consultation over King’s Lynn incinerator - and 97pc are opposed to it
More than 97pc of people who commented on the planning application are opposed to the plan. So are almost 66pc of town and parish councils across Norfolk, according to figures released by Norfolk County Council.
A record 2,592 responses were received to the planning application from Cory Wheelabrator to build an 'energy from waste' plant at Saddlebow, near King's Lynn.
Of those 2,524 (97.4pc) objected to the incinerator and 27 (1pc) supported it. A further 41 (1.6pc) responses were classed as comments – some from statutory bodies such NHS Norfolk or the Environment Agency.
Ninety-three parish and town councils also responsed to the consultation.
Of those, 61 (65.6pc) were opposed and nine (9.7pc) in favour, with a further 23 (24.7pc) classed as comments.
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A county council spokesman said: 'All comments will be considered by our planning team, who will then decide what further information is needed from the applicant.
'Once that is received, there will be a further opportunity to comment on the new information. 'Once that process has finished a report will be produced for the planning regulatory committee.
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'It is too early to say when the application will be considered.'
Opponents claim overwhelming oppsition to the incinerator means it can not demonstrate the 'broad consensus' of support needed to obtain the �169m in PFI (Private Finance Initiative) credits needed to build it.
It comes after more than 65,000 people voted against the incinerator in a poll organissed by West Norfolk council earlier this year.
In a reply to representations from Liberal Democrat county councillors Defra – the Department for the Envrionment, Food and rural Affairs – said: 'We acknowledge the recent poll by West Norfolk Borough Council, which was a consideration in prompting the secretary of state's letter, but would point out that it is through the planning and permitting processes that concerns about detailed site issues can, and ought to, be raised.'
Most recently added comments yesterday included a submission from NHS Norfolk, which 'broadly supports' the incinerator. It also recommends that the Food Standards Agency be consulted over any risk of toxins entering the food chain.
The Eastern Inshore Fisheries and Conservation Authority's response was also published yesterday.
It objects to the application because it does not take account of whether toxins such as mercury will build up over time in shellfish in The Wash.
Click on the links above for all the latest on the incinerator debate - plus responses in full to the consultation.