Norfolk County Council chiefs have today, Monday February 3, hit back at claims that pressing ahead with the Lynn incinerator project could cost up to £147 million more than rival waste management plans.
The comments came after West Norfolk’s MPs, Henry Bellingham and Elizabeth Truss, joined West Norfolk Council leader Nick Daubney to set out what they claim is the financial case against the Saddlebow plant.
They argue that pursuing the borough’s preferred option with Material Works or shipping the county’s waste to sites in Cambridgeshire or Holland would save tens of millions of pounds over the life of the county’s contract with Cory Wheelabrator.
But David Harrison, the authority’s cabinet member for waste, accused critics of trying to deflect attention from communities secretary Eric Pickles’ visit to the county.
He said: “From what we understand, the audience was presented with a collection of hypothetical schemes that have not been fully developed or properly costed and which in most cases would take years to come to fruition – if at all.
“Compare this with a legally binding contract that we know will deliver £20m of savings compared to landfill. Plus, it has the potential of making tens of millions more from selling heat and power.
“Time and again, the Willows project has been found to deliver good value for money.
“All the facts have been with Eric Pickles for a very long time and I’d urge him to deliver his verdict soon so this project can move ahead and the grandstanding we saw on Friday can be done away with.”
The county council also claims that independent assessors have warned against making comparisons between schemes because of longer-term price uncertainty.