Government delays decision on new waste incinerator in Wisbech, Cambridgeshire

Protest at Wisbech
The government is pausing permission for any new waste incinerators, including one planned in Wisbech, Cambridgeshire Credit: ITV Anglia

The government is delaying its decision on any new waste incinerators across the country, saying it is "rethinking its strategy."

It would pause work to build one of Europe's largest incinerators in Wisbech, Cambridgeshire - which MP and Environment Secretary Steve Barclay has opposed.

The incinerator would work by burning tonnes of non-recyclable waste to create electricity - enough to power 74,000 homes, according to the MVV, the Germany company behind the plans.

But residents in the market town said it is too big and the roads would not be able to cope with hundreds of extra lorries every day.

Backed by the Mayor of Cambridgeshire and Peterborough and several councils, they held a 200-strong protest in Wisbech in February.

The Energy Secretary approved the plans in February.

But it must also be granted a permit by the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra), and the permits have been temporarily banned.

Defra said its aim is to send less waste for incineration - and repeated its goals of reducing waste, improving recycling and net zero.

A spokesperson said: “We must make sure we have the right waste management infrastructure to meet these goals, and are rightly considering the need for more waste incineration facilities.

“While this work is ongoing, we have temporarily paused granting permits for new waste incineration facilities.”

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