Disgusted residents left the first session of a public inquiry into the Lynn incinerator due to farcical problems with sound.
A total of 400 people went along to the pre-inquiry meeting at Lynnsport yesterday but many left as they were unable to hear proceedings due to the poor acoustics in the hall.
Inspector Ken Smith said he was immensely concerned that people had “given up and gone” after a second adjournment due to the sound issues.
In August, local government minister Eric Pickles announced that an inquiry would be held. This followed Norfolk County Council granting developer Cory Wheelabrator planning permission to build an incinerator at the Willows Business Park.
During Wednesday’s hearing barristers representing Cory Wheelabrator, West Norfolk Council, Norfolk County Council and campaign group King’s Lynn Without Incineration (KLWIN) agreed procedures for the inquiry, which will start on February 26 at Lynn Corn Exchange.
Residents are hoping that there will not be a repeat of the sound problems after calling for an adjournment.
At the hearing Jenny Perryman said: “This meeting is important to the public. We can’t hear because of the echo. Could this meeting not be re-arranged for a more suitable venue where the public can actually hear what is going on.”
Speaking after the second adjournment, inspector Mr Smith said: “It concerns me immensely that people have given up and gone.”
The meeting continue after a radio microphone was supplied.
Mr Smith highlighted areas to be discussed are include conformity to planning policies, air quality, flood risk, environmental and ecological impact, transport and recycling.
Residents will be able to speak during the inquiry.
Borough council barrister Nathalie Lieven told the hearing that the borough council’s case required a complete copy of the Cory contract to see agreed tonnage and effect on recycling.
She said: “We don’t accept the level of redaction put in is justified under commercial confidentiality.”
Neil Cameron QC, for the county, said a meeting will be held between the two sides to discuss the situation.
Speaking after the meeting anti-incinerator campaigner Mike Knights said: “I hope the attendance has a positive impact. It is important that people were here to understand what is going to happen.”