A major bank has withdrawn from its deal to help finance the controversial Lynn incinerator project, it has emerged.
Critics of the Saddlebow scheme say the decision by Lloyds Bank to shift its commitment to another firm is a significant blow to the project.
However, the Cory Wheelabrator consortium that hopes to build the plant maintains that the cash is still in place for the development to go ahead, if planning consent is granted by the government.
In a letter released to the Lynn News on Friday, Chris Sood-Nicholls, Lloyds’ industry head of support services, said: “We recognise that there has been some adverse public sentiment to the proposed project.
“After careful consideration, Lloyds Bank has transferred its lending commitment to another financial institution and will no longer be playing an active role in the project.”
The letter, which was dated last Monday, was sent to a customer who had threatened to withdraw all his assets from the bank unless they reconsidered their position.
Campaign officials say that other key lenders have also been urged to pull out of the development.
And Mike Knights, vice-chairman of the King’s Lynn Without Incineration (KLWIN) campaign group, said: “I think the incinerator is increasingly seen as a toxic investment to be off-loaded, not worth risking a bank’s reputation over.”
However, a Cory Wheelabrator spokesman said yesterday: “Lloyds Bank has transferred its lending commitment to another financial institution and we’re happy to confirm that funding is still in place for this important project.”
The development is already facing an uncertain future after Norfolk County Council’s leadership committed itself to holding a second vote on whether the project should continue, amid continuing concern over the cost of the project.
Although no date for the debate has yet been announced, it is expected it will be early next month.