Mega Incinerator - update
I know many people locally remain worried about the proposals for the enormous incinerator in Wisbech and are wondering what is happening next following the non-statutory consultation by developer MVV last month. The non-statutory element is designed to help the developer identify the concerns of residents and organisations and gives them time to change their plans before moving into formal, statutory consultation next March. Unfortunately, the information supplied thus far still doesn’t adequately address many of the key questions I asked earlier around the impacts on health, traffic, the environment, the height of the chimney, and the rail link. Neither does it provide any clarity on exactly where the waste will be coming from, how far afield and by which routes.
The developer's strategy continues to be to avoid a local planning decision by doubling the size of the incinerator proposed compared to the one rejected next door in West Norfolk. As such their scheme needs to generate over 50 megawatts of power to qualify as a nationally significant infrastructure project – but the timescale to this level of energy production is still unclear despite my earlier specific question on this. MVV has also appeared to downplay the estimated vehicle movements, claiming the incinerator will attract 170 vehicles each weekday and 40 on Saturdays and Sundays – most of them HGVs of 3.5 tonnes or more. This will need more scrutiny. We also now know the preferred route for the connection into the National Grid is north to Walpole Substation, requiring a substation extension and either an underground cable or a wood pole overhead line (up to 18m high).
There is much the developer has failed to set out and I’d urge them to share the consultation feedback and results of their assessments and impact reports as soon as possible, rather than waiting for the next consultation in March or the official application for a Development Consent Order a year from now. I believe a facility of this size is wholly unsuitable and continue to strongly object to this project, and will continue to work along with Wisbech Town Council, Fenland District Council, Cambridgeshire County Council, and many more to oppose this flawed proposal.