Wisbech incinerator site visit

Cambridgeshire County Council leader Lucy Nethsingha and I today joined campaigners against the proposed incinerator in Wisbech, to tour the site and listen to residents’ concerns.

Virginia and Michael Bucknor and members of the campaign team greeted us, and we followed in convoy to the location at the bottom of New Drove. The proposed facility is very close to a host of neighbouring businesses, and no more than 750 metres from Thomas Clarkson Academy, the largest school in Wisbech.

Back in the offices of nearby WEP Fabrications, we discussed the issues raised by the campaign team. The traffic impact, with hundreds of HGVs bringing large loads of waste and removing the resulting material. The proximity to local industry, including many dealing in foodstuffs for whom an incinerator would be a significant challenge. The potential loss of local jobs and businesses and the damage to Wisbech’s economy. The dominance of the incinerator chimneys, potentially twenty-five metres higher than Ely Cathedral.

The application is not one which the council, either district or county, will decide. That will be down to the Planning Inspectorate, with local county and district councils only consultees rather than decision-makers. Some say the applicants have deliberately chosen this route to reduce the opportunity for local influence. It’s clearly a major concern for the campaigners.

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