King’s Lynn incinerator site ‘should be sold’, says county councillor

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County councillors have been urged to back a proposal to sell the controversial Lynn incinerator site to West Norfolk Council.

The issue has come back onto the political agenda after a county committee last month refused to rule out incineration as a means of dealing with Norfolk’s waste in the future.

And the head of that committee says the land at Saddlebow should not be sold at all until it is no longer required.

Two motions have been tabled on the issue ahead of a full council meeting next Monday.

One, by South Lynn representative Alexandra Kemp, calls for the council’s policy and resources committee to consider selling the land to the borough when it meets in January.

Miss Kemp, whose ward includes the proposed site, maintains the fate of the land, which the county owns, should be determined locally.

She says that, while the land is unsuitable for an incinerator, it remains in the county council’s waste management strategy.

And she fears the area could be “sold down the river” if planning permission for the current incinerator proposal, which has still to be determined, is granted by the government.

But UKIP group leader Toby Coke has submitted his own motion, stating the land should not be sold or disposed of “in any way until it is established that it is surplus to any future waste strategy requirements.”

Mr Coke, who represents Gayton and Nar Valley, said the site should not be sold to an individual or firm that plans to build an incinerator.

That may rule out a deal with Cory Wheelabrator, who still hope to build at Saddlebow, if they get planning approval from communities secretary Eric Pickles.

But he added: “This council may need this site for its own waste treatment plant.”

Mr Coke is also chairman of the council’s environment, development and transport committee which voted to allow incineration to be considered as a means of dealing with Norfolk’s future waste last month.

Supporters maintained it would be “hypocritical” for the council not to use a treatment method within its own boundaries that it is happy to use elsewhere. The authority has already agreed a deal to deal with some waste at the Great Blakenham incinerator in Suffolk.

But critics said the vote showed there was still a desire within County Hall for an incinerator, despite the authority having terminated its contract with Cory Wheelabrator in the spring and the final instalment of compensation for that decision having just been paid.

Miss Kemp, a member of the waste working group which made the recommendation following the termination of the council’s contract with Cory Wheelabrator in the spring, says she will fight to have it reinstated next week.

She added: “I hope we can complete matters now so that the council can make a fresh start in the New Year and put this sorry matter behind us once and for all.”