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INCINERATOR LATEST – Campaigners’ delight as ministers call in Saddlebow incinerator proposal

Whereas in Hong Kong the official charged with protecting the Environment is also the EIA rubber stamp for destroying it !

Published on Thursday 30 August 2012 16:15

THE Lynn incinerator project is set to go to a full public inquiry after ministers decided to call-in the scheme, it has emerged this afternoon.

News of the decision emerged within the last hour, as tomorrow’s edition of the Lynn News went to press, and has been hailed by residents and politicians in West Norfolk who have fought against the scheme, with the support of thousands of people who have voiced their opposition to the government.

Leading campaigner Mike Knights said: “I am absolutely delighted at this news. It means it’s going to be the first time that this planning application will be heard by an independent, decision-making body.”

As previously reported, members of Norfolk County Council’s planning committee voted to grant permission for the plant at their meeting in June, subject to the scheme not being called-in by ministers.

A holding directive was issued by communities’ secretary Eric Pickles on the eve of that meeting to prevent final permission from being granted until the government gave ultimate approval. The plant has already received an environmental permit to operate, but needs planning consent.

But it is understood that the issue will now be referred to an inquiry led by a planning inspectorbecause of the regional and national implications of the development.

It is also believed that around 6,000 letters were sent to the Department for Communities and Local Government by people opposed to the proposal, a record number for the department.

And North West Norfolk MP Henry Bellingham has paid tribute to the public’s contribution to the campaign.

He said: “This is really fantastic news. It’s a very important development.

“It’s the result of thousands of people who have written in and joined the campaign and I am deeply indebted to them, because without them, we wouldn’t have got this call-in.”

South West Norfolk MP Elizabeth Truss said the government had done the right thing in listening to the public.

She said she also plans to continue lobbying the Treasury to review the basis of the government’s contribution to the financing of the plant.

A multi-million pound grant towards the cost of the scheme was approved by environment secretary Caroline Spelman earlier this year.

But, following the latest ruling, there is likely to be many more months of uncertainty over whether the plant will be built at all.

Norfolk County Council say they have not received any official notification of the decision, while Cory Wheelabrator, the consortium hoping to build the plant, have not yet commented.

Further updates when available

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