King's Lynn incinerator: Council to discuss dropping scheme

Artist's impression of waste incinerator Image copyright Other
Image caption Communities Secretary Eric Pickles has delayed his decision over the proposed £500m waste incinerator at King's Lynn

Norfolk County Council is to discuss whether to drop its waste incinerator project after it was hit by delays.

Communities Secretary Eric Pickles had been due to announce in January whether the King's Lynn incinerator was rightly awarded planning permission.

The council said it would consider next month whether to drop the plan to avoid rises in compensation payments.

It will also discuss whether it should continue with the project even if the government rules in its favour.

The £500m Willows plant was first granted planning permission by the county council in June 2012, despite criticism from MPs, local councils and residents.

'Alarmed and disappointed'

The plans were called-in by the government two months later, but a final decision on whether the plant can go ahead has yet to be made.

The burner was put into further doubt when the government withdrew £169m towards it, but the council narrowly voted in October to continue with the project after a report said penalties triggered by pulling out could effectively "bankrupt" the authority.

After requests by Conservative, Green, Liberal Democrat, UKIP and independent councillors, the authority said it would hold a further extraordinary meeting to discuss the matter on 7 April.

The compensation is currently capped at £20.3m.

Council leader George Nobbs said in January he was "alarmed and disappointed" at the government's delay, which forced the authority to make further cuts to its budget.

A Department for Communities and Local Government spokesman said: "This is a complex planning application which is being carefully considered with due process, following an immense number of representations, including numerous post-inquiry representations.

"A decision will be made in due course."

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