MP Steve Barclay turns up the heat on ‘deeply flawed’ £300m mega incinerator for Wisbech
PUBLISHED: 13:39 14 March 2020 | UPDATED: 14:16 14 March 2020
Nearly 300 people packed into the Queen Mary Centre in Wisbech on Friday night to hear MP Steve Barclay pledge to fight proposals for a £300 million energy from waste incinerator in the town.
He said MVV Environment, the company behind the proposals for a site off Algores Way had produced a scheme 'that is deeply flawed'.
Mr Barclay queried whether MVV were following national guidelines such as consideration of alternative sites.
He said the developer has 'questions to answer' over the decision to build on such a massive scale. By doing so, he said, they would avoid local planning control and direction by allowing the Government to make the decision because of its 50 megawatts capacity.
The MP accused MVV of 'lack of real public engagement' and urged many more to sign up to his petition opposed to it.
'It is striking that the response to an incinerator being rejected next door in West Norfolk is to suggest the answer is to build one twice the size,' said the MP.
'The enormous size of plant in turn makes this location even more unsuitable.
'The volume of waste required means there would be huge volumes of traffic on single carriage way roads across our area seven days a week, on a site very close to three schools, creating noise pollution, road congestion and road safety impacts.'
He added: 'Flooding risk and visual blight from a chimney up to 95m high and visible for miles around, are just some of the issues with the choice of site.
'This is made worse by the lack of detail on key issues from the developer'
Mr Barclay said he was concerned about the environmental impact of the incinerator and the possible impact on proposals for the Wisbech rail line.
He also feared 'the extent to which they plan to use the compulsory purchase of land and on what land, or the implications for nearby houses and businesses which, to date, have been kept in the dark by the developer'.
Mr Barclay added: 'I will continue to voice local opposition to this scheme, including to the planning inspector and to ministers in Parliament.
'I am also working with neighbouring MPs who would face significant traffic congestion from this scheme.'
Two Facebook groups opposed to the incinerator were represented at the meeting - many other residents posted today they had stayed away because of the coronavirus scare.
Councillor Ian Bates of the economy and environment committee of the county council said the application from MVV is likely to be determined by the Government next year.
MVV managing director Paul Carey has told some residents by letter that local public consultations are due to begin at the end of the month
'The events will be held at a variety of venues in and around Wisbech; all of the events will be advertised on our website (in the planning and consultation area) and via a leaflet drop to residents and businesses,' he said.
'We will also use the local media and community venues to advertise them.'
Mr Carey added: 'The purpose of the consultation is to inform local people about our proposals and listen to concerns such as those raised in your email.
'At this very early stage of the planning process we are looking carefully at any potential environmental impacts and therefore welcome the views of the local community. Our staff will be on hand to answer any questions and provide more information as required.'
He said the specific impacts that will be considered are:
Traffic and transport
Noise and vibration
Landscape and visual
Geology, hydrogeology and contaminated land
Major accidents and disasters
'These areas will be the subject of a thorough Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) which will form a significant part of our planning application,' said Mr Carey.
'The EIA will go into considerable detail to evaluate the impact the project might have on the local area and environment, and will, hopefully, allay your concerns and fears.'