Norfolk County Council contact claim on Wisbech burner bid denied
Developers of a massive waste incinerator scheme in Wisbech insist they have had no talks about whether Norfolk's waste could be sent there.
The comment, made ahead of a special planning meeting today, follows claims that scheme representatives had expressed confidence of securing a deal with Norfolk County Council during recent consultation events.
And a leading campaign group says it fears Norfolk waste is likely to be burnt at the plant in the future.
Today is the final day of a public consultation period on the proposed development, which is around half a mile from the border between Fenland and West Norfolk.
Borough councillors will meet this morning to discuss the proposal, with officials advising them to maintain the opposition previously expressed in a motion earlier this year.
But questions have been raised about potential contact between the developer, MVV Environmental, and Norfolk County Council about the scheme.
Speaking during a Norfolk county cabinet meeting last Monday, Independent Alexandra Kemp said representatives of the developer had been “boasting” of talks with the authority and the prospect of a future contract, asking: “Is this true?”
Council leader Andrew Proctor said he found the suggestion “quite incredible”, adding: “I think the short answer to that is no.”
And, in a statement this week, MVV managing director Paul Carey said: “There has been no contact between project representatives and elected members or officers of Norfolk County Council regarding the possibility of a future contract for waste to be processed at the Wisbech site should a development order be granted.”
But the King’s Lynn Without Incineration (KLWIN) group is worried that current arrangements would allow the council to send waste to the Wisbech site, with emissions being blown over West Norfolk on prevailing winds, if the development is approved.
Last summer, the county council approved plans for a new contract with Veolia which sees most of the county’s waste sent to an incinerator in Bedfordshire.
That deal, which came into force in April, is due to run until 2027, though there is an option to extend it for a further two years.
At the time the deal was approved, council officials claimed the arrangement would increase recycling rates and deliver savings of around £2 million a year on previous contracts.
They also said the arrangement gives them greater flexibility and allows continued efforts to increasing recycling.
A KLWIN statement said: “We fear it is no coincidence that if the Medworth Incinerator is built it will become operational when Norfolk’s short term contract expires.”