Controversial Wisbech incinerator plans given government go ahead

Plans for a large incinerator in Wisbech have been given the go ahead by the government. Credit: ITV News Anglia

A controversial incinerator plan has been given the go ahead by the government despite hundreds of objections.

The large development will be built in the Medworth area of Wisbech in Cambridgeshire and will involve land on the Algores Industrial Estate as well as a grid connection at the Walsoken substation.

Plans were first proposed by Medworth CHP Ltd in July 2022, to be developed by MVV Environment Ltd, but hundreds of people in the surrounding area objected including taking part in protests against them.

A protest sign in opposition to the large incinerator plans in Wisbech. Credit: ITV News Anglia

Cambridgeshire County Council, Fenland District Council, Norfolk Council and West Norfolk Council opposed the plans which were granted permission by MP Claire Coutinho, the Secretary of State for the Department for Energy Security and Net Zero.

Lorna Dupre, chair of Cambridgeshire County Council’s environment and green investment committee, said: "The minister’s decision is a huge disappointment to all of us locally who have opposed the Wisbech incinerator proposals and fought against Medworth MVV’s proposals for the edge of this historic town.

"While we fundamentally disagree with the government’s decision and do not believe it is in the best interests of the people of Wisbech, we recognise the Secretary of State’s authority on the matter.

"When it comes to nationally significant infrastructure projects like this one, the decision – and responsibility for the decision – lies with central government."

The county council is working to reduce carbon emissions across the area to boost responsible renewable energy projects.

But it raised serious concerns over the potential visual impact of the Wisbech incinerator on the surrounding area.

The local authority also highlighted the impact of the suggested development on the landscape, carbon emissions, and transport links in and around Wisbech, in a public inquiry into the development.

Ms Truss, MP for South West Norfolk, stood down as prime minister after just 45 days in the job. Credit: PA

South West Norfolk Conservative MP Liz Truss is also "deeply disappointed" in the secretary of state's decision to develop the incinerator.

She said: "I maintain that the site proposed for this incinerator is totally unsuitable and share the concerns of the many constituents who have contacted me about its likely detrimental impact on local schools, health, traffic and agricultural land. "I will continue to put pressure on the authorities and raise residents' concerns."

The incinerator will create more than 50 megawatts of electricity and steam from over half a million tonnes of non-recyclable household, commercial and industrial waste each year.

Paul Carey, MVV’s managing director, said: "We look forward to going ahead with thisproject. We want to assure the local community that we will be a good neighbour as we build and operate the new facility."

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