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Norfolk county councillors say 'No' to Wisbech burner bid



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County councillors have unanimously voted "in principle" to oppose plans for a huge waste incinerator on the edge of West Norfolk.

The move comes only days after senior County Hall figures publicly voiced their concerns about the Wisbech project for the first time, following months of pressure by borough representatives and anti-incinerator campaigners.

Councillors voted 69 to nil in favour of a motion stating "in principle opposition" to the proposed development during a meeting at County Hall in Norwich today.

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)

The proposed burner would stand just half a mile from the borough's border if it is given the go-ahead.

And borough council leader Stuart Dark told the session: "This site is considered, in principle, too big, too near to our communities and unjustifiable against apparent sufficiency in the existing waste disposal chain and national and regional plans to reduce waste yet further."

Mr Dark, who represents the Dersingham county council division, said momentum had been building "slowly" towards the county authority taking its new stance for some time.

WisWIN campaigners met with West Norfolk Borough Council recently to discuss the impact an incinerator for Wisbech would have on the borough. (56465443)
WisWIN campaigners met with West Norfolk Borough Council recently to discuss the impact an incinerator for Wisbech would have on the borough. (56465443)

He praised Independent councillor Alexandra Kemp and Green Party borough councillor Michael de Whalley for their efforts to keep the issue in the public eye.

He added: "There is nothing but relief and gratitude that the council has been able to reach its position today, prior to any planning application being submitted."

Developers MVV are expected to submit formal proposals for the plant "imminently".

Earlier, Miss Kemp, who proposed the original motion, urged MVV to withdraw its plans now.

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

She said: "We are Norfolk and no-one rides roughshod over King's Lynn while we're here.

"You [MVV] should not be building this incinerator. It's not needed. It would be a blot on our landscape and our people."

And Liberal Democrat Rob Colwell reminded the chamber of the council's own painful history with incineration, eight years after its plans for a burner at Saddlebow, on the edge of Lynn, were finally scrapped.

He said: "This council knows all too well what happens when the local community are ignored for their views on incineration."

"We must all be mindful of the dirty truth about our rubbish and incineration and the reality that incineration cannot be considered a 'green' or low carbon source of electricity."



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