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Government warned of Norfolk council's anti-burner stance

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County council chiefs say they “share the concerns” of people in West Norfolk over plans for a huge waste incinerator on the edge of the borough.

The comment was made as the Government was notified of the Norfolk authority’s position on the Wisbech proposal.

And developers behind the proposal have been warned they could face months, or even years, of public hearings if they persist with the plan.

Campaigners opposing plans for a waste incinerator like this being built in Wisbech are lobbying the government. (53773761)
Campaigners opposing plans for a waste incinerator like this being built in Wisbech are lobbying the government. (53773761)

County councillors unanimously passed a motion expressing “in principle” opposition to the incinerator, which would stand just half a mile from the county boundary, two weeks ago.

The scale of the scheme means ministers will have to decide whether to give it the go-ahead or not.

And the council has now written to the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS) to inform them of its motion against the scheme.

Norfolk County Council County Hall (55757657)
Norfolk County Council County Hall (55757657)

Leader Andrew Proctor said the motion brought the county “into line with other local authorities in the immediate vicinity of the proposed site” in expressing opposition to the scheme.

He added: “We share the concerns of residents to the west of the county.”

The motion was passed following months of criticism from local representatives and anti-incinerator campaigners, some of whom staged a protest outside County Hall ahead of an earlier council meeting.

The company behind the proposed plant, MVV Environmental, is thought to be planning to submit a formal application for a Development Consent Order for the scheme soon – potentially as early as next month.

Documents published as part of its own public consultation process claim the scheme will provide both economic and environmental benefits, the latter from reducing the amount of waste going into landfill.

The firm claims that, on 2019 figures, the UK is still sending more than 15 million tonnes of waste either to landfill or abroad for processing each year.

They say: “This is not sustainable and we should be treating this waste as a resource.”

But independent Alexandra Kemp, who led calls for the county to oppose the plant, says the company should scrap its plans now.

She says the scheme would blight the region and be the subject of a long, bitter battle.

Plans for an incinerator on the edge of Lynn were finally scrapped in 2014, more than a year after a public inquiry into it began and before a final decision had been reached.

And Miss Kemp said: “We don’t want to be in planning inquiries for the next two years.”

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