INCINERATOR INQUIRY: Developer admits some re-usable material ‘will be burned’
Some recyclable material will be burned by the proposed Lynn incinerator, a senior official of the consortium who want to build the plant has admitted this afternoon.
The concession came towards the end of the first full day of testimony in the inquiry at the West Norfolk Professional Development Centre, though developers maintain that the costs of ensuring full recycling would have to be considered.
During cross-examination, Cory Environmental’s director of planning, John Boldon, insisted that Norfolk County Council, acting as the waste disposal authority, would work with collection authorities, the district councils, to make sure that as much material as possible would be re-used before waste was sent to the Saddlebow plant.
“There is a degree of tolerance in the permit”, he said.
Carla Goodyear, solicitor for King’s Lynn Without Incineration (KLWIN), asked whether that meant Mr Boldon accepted that recyclable material would be burned.
Mr Boldon said the economic viability of ensuring that all recyclable material was reused had to be taken into account, and had earlier conceded that regulations allowed waste collection and disposal authorities to avoid disposing of waste in the most sustainable way if it was deemed not to be economically viable. However, he subsequently confirmed: “There will be some burned, yes.”
Many of the earlier exchanges had related to the ability of the proposed plant to supply heat and power to other firms, including Palm Paper, and the way in which the incinerator scheme had been presented to the public.
Supporters of the plan have repeatedly highlighted the close proximity of a major user of power and steam in the paper mill as a reason for the development to proceed.
However, Mr Boldon today admitted that the incinerator would not be able to meet the paper mill’s steam and power requirements alone.
But he repeated the assertion made in Cory’s opening statement last week that the option for Palm Paper to take power and steam from the incinerator had not been ruled out.
He suggested that the company, who insisted that they were pressing ahead with their own plans for a combined cycle gas turbine, were putting themselves in a “very strong negotiating position.”
“They’re looking for a secure energy source and, to be absolutely frank, the cheapest they can get”, he said.
Meanwhile, Mr Boldon was also critical of the way the case against the plant had been presented and how the local poll organised by West Norfolk Council in 2011 was handled.
He accused campaigners and the Lynn News of running an “emotive” campaign against the project and suggested the newspaper had been “alarmist” in its coverage of the issue.
He also criticised borough council chief executive Ray Harding for suggesting that Cory Wheelabrator should seek the agreement of Norfolk County Council before submitting a statement to be circulated with voting papers for the local poll.
But Nathalie Lieven QC, for the borough council, suggested the company had eventually decided not to take part because they “calculated” they could then claim the poll was flawed. Mr Boldon rejected that claim.
He also dismissed Ms Lieven’s assertion that questions in the Comres poll commissioned by the consortium, which asked for support for the incinerator after recyclable material had been re-used, implied all possible recycling would be undertaken before material was burned.
He said: “For you to say someone would expect every ounce of material to be recycled is divorced for reality.”
Mr Boldon will give further evidence when the inquiry resumes tomorrow morning.
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Friday 24 May 2013
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