Newhaven 'deserves compensation' for incinerator

Newhaven incinerator
Image caption The waste incinerator at Newhaven will be fully operational in the autumn

A Sussex MP has claimed the residents of a coastal town deserve millions of pounds in compensation for the building of a controversial waste incinerator.

Lib Dem Norman Baker said East Sussex County Council (ESCC) should have demanded a "seven-figure sum" from Veolia, operator of the Newhaven plant.

"I am asking Veolia to recognise that and make a contribution to community facilities in the town," he said.

Veolia and ESCC said the plant brought jobs and a £900,000 investment.

The incinerator at North Quay is being phased in with a view to being fully operational in the autumn.

'Pitiful amount'

It will generate electricity through burning an estimated 210,000 tonnes of waste a year.

Mr Baker, MP for Lewes, said the £900,000 the Conservative-run council had secured from Veolia was a "pitiful amount of money".

"All the people of Newhaven are getting from this development are a few trees," he said.

Keith McGurk, Veolia's project director at Newhaven, said about £8m had gone into the local economy through the use of contractors and services and one third of the workforce was employed locally.

"With regard to direct impact during the planning process, we agreed to invest £900,000 into the local community," he said.

"We paid that money over to the planning authority and they, together with Newhaven Town Council, are determining how to use that money."

Sponsored events

County Councillor Carl Maynard said the incinerator plant was a very good deal.

"We have got an integrated recycling programme across East Sussex, Brighton and Hove that will be environmentally friendly," he said.

He said he disagreed with Mr Baker that ESCC should have gained more than £900,000.

The company sponsored local events including fetes and festivals and had recently pledged another £150,000 for community projects.

"Veolia is engaging with the local community and has been since the start of this project," he said.

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