MP Steve Barclay says 'I'm on it' as he speaks out against 'deeply flawed' plans for Wisbech waste incinerator
Local MP Steve Barclay hopes "deep flaws" in plans for a giant waste incinerator in Wisbech will help campaigners beat the proposals.
The North East Cambridgeshire MP, who is "strongly opposed" to the plans by MVV Environmental Ltd to build the 50 megawatt incinerator on land off Algores Way, has spent the weekend reading the company's scoping document for the project.
And he said: "I want people to know 'I'm on it'."
Mr Barclay said: "I have spent a lot of time this weekend reading about incinerators and it is absolutely shocking what I have learned. I have also read the scoping document, which is very lengthy, but it is also full of flaws, which will help us in the fight against this incinerator."
The Brexit Secretary pointed to a number of major concerns about the application, which is yet to go out to public consultation, but will eventually go to government for a planning decision because of the size of the plant being proposed.
Among Mr Barclay's major concerns is the size of the incinerator which will have a tower that is 95 metres high. Mr Barclay added: "To put that into context, Ely Cathedral is 66 metres high, so the incinerator is going to dominate the landscape for miles around.
"It is 200 metres from one school, 500 metres from another, and is 750 metres away from the largest school in the district - the Thomas Clarkson Academy. The implications are massive in terms of the number of lorries on the roads and the air quality.
"The incinerator will also be 350 metres from the eye clinic, where people go for eye surgery.
"Another very important concern is the scheme will dig up Wisbech Rail, this will fatally undermine Wisbech Rail, a key aspect of Wisbech 2020. This massive structure is to be built on flood plain land.
"If there is a flood then pollution from this waste facility will pollute our water table. The developer has ignored planning guidance by failing to put forward alternative sites. The alternatives being put forward relate to the design of the facility, not its siting.
"To put things into perspective this establishment would be twice the size of MVV's Portsmouth incinerator which provides electricity to the British Navy. It will burn half-a-million tonnes of waste and will be running from 6am to 7pm seven days a week, the number of lorries needed to bring in the waste needed to keep it going is huge. The waste will have to be brought in from miles away."
Mr Barclay said he would do "whatever it takes" to prevent the incinerator being built and argued the best way to beat the plan is by finding flaws in the developer's case.
"That is absolutely central. This proposal is completely wrong for this site. The developer is saying this is a nationally significant infra-structure because it is a 50 megawatt plant, which means the decision needs to be made by the secretary of state. That is how they are trying to get around what happened in King's Lynn.
"They are bringing it forward in a way that by-passes local councils. Let's put that to the test. They say that while it will be up to 50megwatt they will initially be running at less than that - if that is the case then it is not a national infra-structure scheme, that's a massively important point.
"I am confident this fight is winnable. But it will be won by making the legal case against the incinerator and finding the flaws in their case - that is absolutely key."
Mr Barclay has also launched a petition which can be signed here: https://www.stopfenlandincinerator.co.uk