Time to draw line under King’s Lynn incinerator saga, says councillor

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A senior Norfolk county councillor says he hopes a line has been drawn after the authority ruled out incineration as a means of dealing with the county’s waste.

A conference will be held early in the new year to discuss the way forward following the authority’s vote on Monday.

And Toby Coke, chairman of the council’s environment, development and transport committee, hopes the vote will end the issue.

He said: “I hope the clear message on incineration, that councillors from all sides of the chamber agreed, will reassure people in West Norfolk that we can now move forward together and put this very divisive issue behind us.”

But ward councillor Alexandra Kemp remains concerned that the Saddlebow site which had been proposed for an incinerator is to remain in county council hands.

She called for the land to be sold to West Norfolk Council during Monday’s meeting, but the proposal was not seconded.

And she called on residents to remain vigilant to make sure that any future proposed use of the land is suitable for the surrounding communities.

Miss Kemp pointed out that a county official had written to the government to urge them to grant planning permission for the proposed incinerator in May, only weeks after councillors had voted to terminate their contract for the scheme with Cory Wheelabrator.

She said: “I still do not trust County officers in Norwich to recommend the right decisions for Lynn.

“Big decisions for West Norfolk are best made here. Local Government in Norfolk should stay as local as possible.”

However, Mr Coke said: “It would be completely irresponsible of us to get rid of the Saddlebow site when we may well need it for ourselves as we look to the future.

“Having spent more than £33 million ending the contract with Cory Wheelabrator, it’s crystal clear there is a political will across all parties to bury the incinerator issue once and for all.”