County council agrees final settlement for Lynn incinerator

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Norfolk County Council has agreed a full and final settlement in line with the £33.7m reported to the council on May 27 for ending The Willows energy from waste project.

This move closes negotiations with Willows Power and Recycling Limited relating to the contract for the proposed development.

A vote by councillors in April led to withdrawal from the scheme on the basis of the failure to obtain planning permission. Following that decision a series of payments have already been made by the county council in recent months, such as foreign exchange costs and costs relating to the public inquiry.

A last payment of nearly £5.9m was made on Friday bringing this in line with the £33.7m reported to Council in May this year.

Tom McCabe, interim executive director of Community and Environmental Services at Norfolk County Council, said: “We built up a reserve in order to pay the substantial costs of terminating the contract and we have now made a final settlement in line with that.

“The costs associated with ending the contract are significant and we have had to satisfy ourselves that they are justifiable, which is why this process has taken some time.”

George Nobbs, Leader, Norfolk County Council said: “I welcome the certainty that this agreement brings. This is a significant act of closure in a sad and sorry saga which was not of my administration’s making or choice. I very much welcome the fact that this now finally removes any risk of further costs being incurred in the future. However, it has been a salutary lesson of how not to do things. It is a matter of deep regret to me that this matter has caused so much damage to relations within our County and I hope that today we can all turn to a new page.”