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West Norfolk councillors say no to bid for Wisbech incinerator

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West Norfolk councillors have reiterated their objection to a proposed Wisbech incinerator, with one saying incinerators should be rejected across the UK.

At a special planning committee meeting on Friday, councillors were asked to give their thoughts on MVV Environmental’s plans to build a £300m plant on Algores Way in Wisbech, which would handle more than 500,000 tonnes of non-recyclable waste a year.

In February, the council passed a motion opposing the plans.

West Norfolk councillors have signalled their opposition to the proposed incinerator, shown here in blue.
West Norfolk councillors have signalled their opposition to the proposed incinerator, shown here in blue.

Councillors raised concerns about the development, particularly levels of carbon dioxide, the impact of having more HGVs on the road, and damage to historic sites and farms in West Norfolk.

Green Party Councillor Michael de Whalley argued there was no need for the proposed incinerator in Wisbech, or “any new incinerator in the UK”.

Mr de Whalley said that a solid waste incinerator, which would come online in around seven years, is incompatible with the UK waste strategy, and government commitments to recycle 65pc of municipal waste by 2035.

He said this could lead to the UK suffering from “significant incineration overcapacity” while the EU was already cutting off funding for new incinerators because they undermine recycling.

The committee agreed to seek clarification on several issues, including if the site has sufficient water capacity if there was a fire and why overhead pylons were being considered over underground cables.

Borough council leader Stuart Dark stressed this was an early stage and they could only raise technical concerns at this time, with future opportunities to comment.

Planning committee chairman Vivienne Spikings echoed this adding: “We are not the people who decide [this application] we are merely part of the consultation process.”

Councillors agreed to submit a report and their questions to the consultation, while also reiterating their opposition to having an incinerator in an adjacent district.

The incinerator which would sit 750m from a secondary school, would be twice the size of the failed proposals for an incinerator at Saddlebow, on the outskirts of King’s Lynn.

Opponents of the Wisbech scheme say the plant would have a chimney higher than Ely Cathedral and generate 300 lorry movements a day.

Developer MVV Environment has argued it will divert 500,000 tonnes of waste from landfill each year and generate electricity and heat.

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