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Steve Barclay free to slam £400m mega incinerator promises ‘fight is far from over’

Barclay bid to ‘block this threatened blight on our community’

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Free at last to comment, Environment Minister Steve Barclay – technically no longer an MP – slammed the decision to allow a £400m mega waste incinerator to be built in Wisbech. Days after the Environment Agency granted the project an environmental permit, he described today how he is “appalled by the decision to grant a permit to a mega incinerator at Wisbech in the face of widespread local opposition.

“I have campaigned against this deeply flawed scheme right from the start and did everything within my power as an MP to try to halt this from going ahead”.

He also attacked Labour for trying to undermine his opposition to the incinerator.

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MP Steve Barclay on a site visit in 2020 to Algores Way, Wisbech. After the visit he said: ‘I remain strongly opposed to the proposals to build a waste incinerator in Wisbech. I have already flagged my concern to the relevant Minister and will continue to outline the problems with this scheme’

MP Steve Barclay on a site visit in 2020 to Algores Way, Wisbech. After the visit he said: ‘I remain strongly opposed to the proposals to build a waste incinerator in Wisbech. I have already flagged my concern to the relevant Minister and will continue to outline the problems with this scheme’

“Labour has responded by trying to score political points at Westminster, demanding an investigation into my efforts to stand up for local people,” he said.

“This fight is far from over and I remain committed to campaigning to block this threatened blight on our community with every fibre of my being.”

However the granting of the environmental permit has been greeted with delight by MVV, the company who gained planning consent for the incinerator but had waited anxiously for the environmental permit to be issued.

MVV managing director Paul Carey told the BBC he was “clearly pleased” with the decision and expects building to begin on the Algores Way site later this year.

“We want to assure the local community that we will be a good neighbour as we build and operate the new facility, as we have already demonstrated at our facilities in Plymouth and Dundee,” he said.

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MP Steve Barclay in March 2020 addressing a public meeting opposed to the mega incinerator in Wisbech.

MP Steve Barclay in March 2020 addressing a public meeting opposed to the mega incinerator in Wisbech.

However, there is still hope the incinerator can be stopped since Fenland District Council is yet to reveal if legal advice has been given to them of the chances for success of a judicial review.

Anti incinerator campaigner Virginia Bucknor, who set up and ran the well organised WisWIN (Wisbech Without Incineration) group, said: “Fenland District Council’s Judicial Review needs to be successful.

“If not, we then have to rely on a decision of the incoming Government.

“There were strong arguments for refusing the Wisbech incinerator made following the public consultation which the then Secretary of State, Claire Coutinho, decided not to accept. So, nothing will change under the present Government.

“However, if all the polls are right and there is a change of Government, they could accept the view of the Parliamentary Climate Change Committee, UKWIN and others that the UK already has over-capacity so could stop all further incinerator plans.”

She added: “So we have to keep on campaigning and fighting for the right outcome.”

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