West Norfolk Council leader seeks industrial use for King’s Lynn incinerator land

West Norfolk Council leader Nick Daubney says he is not convinced the site earmarked for the Lynn incinerator scheme should be used for a waste facility at all.

Norfolk County Council has deferred a decision on whether to sell the Saddlebow land to the borough, who asked for an independent valuation.

Some suggest the site would be an ideal location for a facility for the Cheshire-based firm Material Works, which has a contract with the borough council to process black bin waste.

But yesterday Mr Daubney said: “That’s a discussion we’re still to have. There’s a lot of demand for industrial land. I’ve no doubt we could develop it, but, given the sensitivity of what it could be used for, I think we will be very careful to take the public view into consideration.”

He added: “I’m not even sure Norfolk should have a large waste facility, so I think my personal leanings are towards some sort of light industrial development, but I stress they are my personal leanings and the whole council will have an opinion.”

Mr Daubney also confirmed that the money to purchase the land, which the county council bought for around £1.75 million in 2008, would be taken from borough reserves.

He said he did not want to pre-empt any potential future valuation of the land, but added: “There will have to be a return for that. We can’t just afford a couple of million and write it off. The land will have to have a good use

Under the terms of its contract with the borough council, which was signed in Material Works has until December of this year to come up with a viable plan for how to treat the borough’s black bin waste.

Although the company announced in January that it had secured £100 million of funding to build a plant in the borough, there has been no further announcement since.

Nobody from the company was available for comment as the Lynn News went to press yesterday, but it is understood that talks are continuing.

Mr Daubney said: “They have still got time within the contract to come up with a plan but they haven’t done so yet.

“Our contract gave them time to come up with a workable plan.”

And, speaking last month, environment portfolio holder Brian Long insisted he remained confident the company offered the best solution for dealing with West Norfolk’s waste.