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Site of controversial King's Lynn incinerator scheme could be leased for power station expansion

Willows Business Park Saddlebow, King's Lynn..Land in the foreground is the proposed site for the incinerator. (3084502)
Willows Business Park Saddlebow, King's Lynn..Land in the foreground is the proposed site for the incinerator. (3084502)

The site of the ill-fated Lynn incinerator project could be leased to developers of an expanded power station under new proposals.

More than four years have now passed since the hated scheme was finally dropped, following years of protests by campaigners and politicians.

Now, Norfolk County Council is proposing to lease the Willows land to EP UK Power Development Ltd, which is planning to expand its nearby power station.

The idea is due to be debated at a Norfolk County Council meeting next week.

And its leader, Andrew Proctor, said: “This land is part of an industrial estate that has been sitting unused for many years.

“A new gas fired power station would trigger economic growth in the area, bringing with it up to 60 permanent jobs at the station plus many more construction jobs if built.”

EP says its plans for a combined cycle gas turbine station and carbon capture facility, which aims to ensure carbon dioxide emissions do not enter the atmosphere, would generate significantly more power than a similar one permitted in 2009.

They say it is no longer viable because of advances in technology and their scheme will help to secure future power supplies.

A report, published in papers for next Monday’s full council meeting, says draft heads of terms have been exchanged for a 125 year lease of around 12 acres of land, which includes the current site of Lynn’s recycling centre.

Under its terms, rent reviews every five years plus a break clause after 25 years and every five years thereafter.

Officials say the lease would also be subject to EP getting planning permission and they would have to pay for the recycling centre to be moved to a new site. EP has said a replacement facility will be in place before the current one is shut.

The report also calls for the council to confirm that the site is not required as part of its future waste strategy.

That has been an enduring concern of some anti-incinerator campaigners, who feared it could be revived.

Alexandra Kemp, whose Clenchwarton and Lynn South division covers the Willows site, said the proposal was not the first choice of residents, but had been changed following environmental and safety concerns.

She added: “The new proposal occupies the whole site to the exclusion of any room for an incinerator.”

But she argues the expanded plant would still generate more pollution and full air quality monitoring is needed in South Lynn.

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