'Out of order' - council hits back at claim incinerator deal struck

Norfolk county councillor Alexandra Kemp, who represents Clenchwarton and King's Lynn South. Picture

County councillor Alexandra Kemp - Credit: Ian Burt

Norfolk council bosses have insisted no deal has been struck to send the county's waste to a controversial incinerator proposed for a site just over the border.

And Norfolk County Council leader Andrew Proctor told a fellow councillor she was "out of order" to suggest County Hall had already reached an agreement with MVV Environmental to send waste to the company's mooted £300m plant in Wisbech.

That project is going through the Nationally Significant Infrastructure Project process to determine if it should get permission. The final say will rest with business and energy secretary Kwasi Kwarteng.

Business and energy secretary Kwasi Kwarteng.

Business and energy secretary Kwasi Kwarteng. - Credit: UK Parliament

Norfolk County Council, West Norfolk Council, Fenland District Council and Cambridgeshire County Council are 'host' authorities in that process and will make comments as part of the planning application process.

West Norfolk Council, Fenland District Council and Cambridgeshire County Council have stated their opposition to the project, but leaders at County Hall previously said it is too soon for the authority to reach a conclusion.

Leader Andrew Proctor reiterated that stance at a meeting of the Conservative-controlled cabinet on Wednesday (January 12) after independent councillor Alexandra Kemp, who represents Clenchwarton and King's Lynn South, urged the council to oppose it.

Ms Kemp was a vociferous opponent of the council's own plans to build an incineration at Saddlebow, scrapped in 2014.

Andrew Proctor, leader of Norfolk County Council

Norfolk County Council leader Andrew Proctor. - Credit: Norfolk County Council

Mr Proctor said the applicant needed to put forward detailed information, including around the environmental and human health impact of the plant.

He said: "Norfolk County Council haven’t had that information yet as the planning application process is not yet under way and so it would be premature and possibly fetter the council's role in the planning process to do as you ask at this stage."

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Ms Kemp said: "Am I right in thinking this cabinet, this administration, is more concerned with doing deals with MVV to boost profits for Norse Environmental and is putting that above children's health in Norfolk and in particular in my division?"

Mr Proctor said: "While I recognise some of the concerns you have raised, some of the things you have said are totally out of order and are certainly not things that are being considered at the moment."

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