Norfolk County Council to oppose bid for incinerator

WisWIN campaigners outside the Rosmini Centre on the opening day of MVV Environment's exhibition

Norfolk County Council will oppose the incinerator proposed for Wisbech. - Credit: Archant

A controversial bid to build a new incinerator close to the Norfolk border will be opposed by the county council.

Andrew Proctor, leader of Norfolk County Council announced the authority will come out against the £300m burner planned for Wisbech in Cambridgeshire.

Known as the Medworth Incinerator, the plant, in Algores Way, would handle more than 500,000 tonnes of non-recyclable waste a year.

But the proposals, from MVV Environment have sparked controversy. Cambridgeshire County Council and King's Lynn Borough Council have both voted to oppose the plans.

Concerns raised about the development included levels of carbon dioxide, the impact of having more lorries on the road, and damage to historic sites and farms in West Norfolk.

Norfolk County Council had come under pressure to signal its opposition to the scheme, with protests at County Hall.

A protest outside County Hall in Norwich against the proposed incinerator in Wisbech. Picture: Danie

Protesters against the incinerator have previously demonstrated at County Hall. - Credit: Danielle Booden

A previous County Hall motion, tabled by independent councillor Alexandra Kemp, who represents Clenchwarton and King's Lynn South, calling for the council to oppose the scheme was lost.

Conservative leader Andrew Proctor said then that the council should wait to see the full details of the plans.

Andrew Proctor, leader of Norfolk County Council

Andrew Proctor, leader of Norfolk County Council - Credit: Norfolk County Council

But, at a meeting of the Conservative-controlled cabinet on Tuesday (April 3), Mr Proctor announced the council will be opposing the plans.

Most Read

Stuart Dark, Conservative councillor and leader of West Norfolk Council, asked Mr Proctor if he could alleviate the concerns people in and around King's Lynn have about the proposal.

Mr Proctor said: "I'm aware that a development consent order application for this facility is due to be submitted to the secretary of state soon and, once received, the county council will give its response as a statutory consultee.

"But I do understand the serious concerns being raised by local residents about this.

Stuart Dark

Stuart Dark, leader of West Norfolk Council. - Credit: Matthew Usher

"As part of the regular dialogue between Mr Dark and myself, it has been emphasised that the current capacity of the waste disposal chain is sufficient and there are ambitious environmental plans to reduce waste levels across King's Lynn and West Norfolk in future years.

"Based on this information, as a consequence, the county council can, and will be, stating its opposition to the proposed energy from waste facility in Wisbech."

The local election count at the Corn Exchange in King's Lynn. Cllr Alexandra Kemp was elected to the

The local election count at the Corn Exchange in King's Lynn. Cllr Alexandra Kemp was elected to the Clenchwarton & King's Lynn South division. Picture: Ian Burt - Credit: Ian Burt

Following the meeting, Miss Kemp said: "It’s about time and long overdue.

"Over the past year, the Conservatives at Norfolk County Council have ducked and dived, put up all manner of feeble excuses, even cancelled a whole council meeting  - showing great disrespect to the residents of West Norfolk - instead of passing the motion against the Wisbech Incinerator like all the other neighbouring councils."

The county council's own plans for an incinerator in King's Lynn were scrapped in April 2014.