LATEST NEWS: Minister accused of ‘wholly unreasonable’ delay on King’s Lynn incinerator decision

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Norfolk County Council leaders have this afternoon, Monday, March 10, branded the continuing uncertainty over the fate of the Lynn incinerator project as “wholly unreasonable.”

Representatives of the Labour, Conservative and Liberal Democrat groups at County Hall have sent a joint letter to communities secretary Eric Pickles, urging him to make a swift decision on whether to grant planning consent for the Saddlebow scheme.

The letter has been signed by council leader George Nobbs, for Labour, Tory councillor Beverley Spratt, chairman of the authority’s environment and waste scrutiny panel, and Liberal Democrat cabinet member James Joyce.

In it, they said: “In all, it is ten months since the planning matters were considered in detail at the inquiry.

“It seems wholly unreasonable to withhold your decision, whatever your decision may be, in the knowledge that the County Council is prejudiced financially by the delay.

“We implore you to end the uncertainty for all concerned. Norfolk needs to know whether we will have to pay approximately £30 million in compensation to the contractors in the event of planning failure. The 840,000 people of Norfolk who depend on the services we provide deserve an answer.”

The letter concludes: “The absence of any clear reason or explanation for the delay is leading to suggestions locally that the decision is being delayed for political reasons, a rumour that we are sure you would wish to dispel just as strongly as we do.

“This protracted delay is damaging both to council taxpayers and the public faith in democracy.”