The long-awaited public inquiry into the controversial Lynn incinerator proposal has opened in the town this morning.
Hundreds of people attended the opening session in the town’s Corn Exchange, where lawyers for the consortium hoping to build the plant have insisted there was an “urgent and compelling need” for the plant.
In his opening statement, Richard Phillips QC, for Cory Wheelabrator, said the balance of planning issues fell “decisively” in favour of allowing the development to proceed, warning that rejecting the plan would lead to “years of delay”.
He added of the proposed site: “It’s hard to conceive there is a better site in Norfolk. It’s no surprise the site was chosen by the county council.”
Neil Cameron QC, representing Norfolk County Council, added that the county’s core waste strategy required 703,000 tonnes worth of waste management provision to be in place by 2020, with more than half of that in place by 2015.
He warned: “There is no deliverable alternative site which can meet that need.”
Earlier, residents had expressed anger at the refusal of the county council to release the full contract between themselves and Cory Wheelabrator for the plant.
Planning inspector Elizabeth Hill said she did not have the powers to force the release of the document but, following repeated questions from the floor, pledged to look into whether Communities Secretary Eric Pickles could force disclosure.
The inquiry resumes this afternoon with opening statements from West Norfolk Council and King’s Lynn Without Incineration (KLWIN).
Follow @LynnNewsCitizen for live updates from the Corn Exchange with news editor Allister Webb.