INCINERATOR - Arguments for and against
Opponents of the incinerator plan say it is the wrong proposal in the wrong location – and that better, cheaper alternatives are available.
Representatives of the King’s Lynn Without Incineration (KLWIN) campaign group will argue that there are “reasonable grounds” for planning permission to be refused because of the possible risks to public health, which they claim are exacerbated by the siting of the development south-west of Lynn and the risk of emissions being carried by the prevailing wind direction.
They have pointed to several academic studies, which they say show a link between incinerators and health problems such as cancers and birth defects.
They have also pointed out that more than 20 local doctors have signed a letter expressing their opposition to the plan.
On the environmental issues, KLWIN argues that Roydon Common is already affected by high concentrations of background pollutants and say that the application should be rejected because of the known effects of pollution and the uncertainty over emission dispersal patterns.
They also claim that the green case for the plant has not been properly worked out.
Meanwhile, West Norfolk Council’s case against the plant is set to focus on planning and technological issues.
Their experts argue that the incinerator plan fails to meet planning policy guidelines relating to the so-called “proximity principle”.
They claim there are three other sites in Norfolk which are better suited to an incinerator than the one proposed, because they are based more centrally in the county and lie in areas with a lower assessed flood risk than the Saddlebow site.
Their case is also set to include testimony from the managing director of Material Works, the consortium that the borough council has agreed a contract with to develop alternative anaerobic digestion technology which would turn household waste into a usable material known as Omnicite, which they claim is a better and cheaper alternative to the incinerator.
Documents submitted to the inspector say the consortium intends to build a plant in the Lynn area next year and that three sites are currently being looked at.
Addressing the borough council’s meeting on Thursday night, leader Nick Daubney said: “I am confident we have the team in place and our speakers and advocates will do a good professional job. We will not let the people who happen to agree with us down.”
He also suggested that a demonstration of the strength of local opposition to the project could help their case.
Mr Daubney told members: “It will do us no harm at all if this inspector sees the level of feeling and concern in this borough about this issue.”
Supporters claim the incinerator is a safe way to create energy and divert more of Norfolk’s waste away from landfill sites – while saving taxpayers millions of pounds in the process.
Cory Wheelabrator, the consortium who hope to be given permission to build the plant, point out that hundreds of facilities which use the energy from waste technology it plans to use on the Saddlebow site, are already in operation across Britain and Europe.
And evidence set to be submitted on their behalf will argue that the risk to local people from exposure to pollutants from the plant will be “insignificant.”
In a statement to the Lynn News, it said: “Our facility would not have been granted an environmental permit by the Environment Agency if it did not meet its strict criteria.
“Respected health-related bodies including the Food Standards Agency, Health Protection Agency and NHS Norfolk did not raise objections to the plant.”
The consortium’s legal team is also set to argue that the development would not have a significant adverse effect on air quality, or on nearby sensitive sites of environmental interest, such as Roydon Common. It also says there would be no adverse impact on the Wash.
And the companies claim the incinerator is needed alongside new recycling facilities, not instead of them.
“It is not a case of either recycling or incineration but of an urgent need to do both. Our proposal is for a sustainable development which will make a significant contribution towards low carbon and renewable energy generation.
“Cory Environmental and Wheelabrator are proud of their provision of sustainable waste management solutions and firmly believe this is the best way to address the urgent need for new residual waste treatment facilities within Norfolk.”
Both Cory Wheelabrator and Norfolk County Council, who have signed a contract to go ahead with the project, have insisted that building the incinerator would save £8 million per year over the 25-year life of the contract, compared to the cost of sending the waste which would be treated by the plant to landfill sites.
They argue that the site has been assessed as the most suitable site for such a development, while the council has also pointed out that the site had been listed as being suitable for a waste management facility in planning documents.
County council officials will give evidence to the inquiry about planning policies relating to the issue, how they believe the plan would meet the county’s waste management needs and how they believe the application relates to all the other relevant planning policies for waste management sites.
Graham Plant, the council’s cabinet member for planning, said yesterday: “We are confident that the application meets all planning policy requirements, that the recommendation made by our planners was correct and that the decision taken by the planning committee was the right one, given national and local planning guidelines. I hope the inquiry can only bring further peace of mind to those looking for even more reassurance.”
Search for a job
Search for a car
Search for a house
Weather for King's Lynn
Tuesday 21 May 2013
Temperature: 8 C to 12 C
Wind Speed: 25 mph
Wind direction: North
Temperature: 4 C to 14 C
Wind Speed: 14 mph
Wind direction: North west