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Government ‘green light’ for £450m Wisbech energy from waste incinerator

Thousands have protested against the incinerator, not least NE Cambs MP Steve Barclay

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The Government has approved Medworth CHP Limited’s application for an £450m energy from waste heat and power incinerator at Wisbech. ‘Terrible news’ ‘an outrageous attack on our community’ and ‘this will be the end of our town’ were early reactions from residents.

There is no right of appeal although a judicial review could be an expensive, and unlikely, last port of call for objectors.

Thousands have protested against the incinerator, not least NE Cambs MP Steve Barclay, now the Environment Secretary of State. By convention, ministers do not intervene or have oversight of any projects affecting their constituency.

Cambridgeshire County Council and Fenland District Council were among those opposed to the facility.

Today’s decision also gives the green light to a series of compulsory purchase orders needed for the site at Algores Way.

One late withdrawal of objection came from Network Rail who it was revealed in today’s decision documents had now reached agreement “in relation to the protection of Network Rail’s assets”.

Protests against the incinerator never stopped

The Government noted that the majority of responses throughout the planning debate had been concerns about the emissions from the proposed development, the impact on the local road network from the increase in traffic and the visual impact the proposed development would have on the local area.

“In reaching her conclusions on the matters set out below, and in taking her decision on the application, the Secretary of State has considered all consultation responses received,” said the decision notice.

It means Medworth can go ahead with their scheme will “recover useful energy in the form of electricity and steam from non-recyclable (residual), non-hazardous municipal, commercial and industrial waste”.

The Energy from Waste (“EfW”) CHP Facility would have the capacity to process up to 625,600 tonnes of residual waste per annum and a generating capacity of over 50 megawatts (“MW”) of electricity available to export to local users (including via a CHP connection) and the electricity distribution network.

The main works comprising the Proposed Development are summarised below:

  • The EfW CHP Facility.
  • CHP Connection.
  • Access Improvements.
  • Water Connections.
  • Grid Connection; and
  • Temporary Construction Compound (“TCC”).

The decision notice also stated that “the applicant also seeks compulsory acquisition (“CA”) and temporary possession (“TP”) powers”.

 

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