Fenland District Council has now submitted its initial response to the Planning Inspectorate following plans from Medworth CHP Limited to build a waste incinerator near Wisbech.
The Adequacy of Consultation Representation response that the Council has submitted will inform the Planning Inspectorate whether local authorities, organisations and communities have been adequately consulted on plans for the Wisbech Incinerator.
Leader of Fenland District Council, Cllr Chris Boden, said: "Fenland District Council fundamentally oppose this incinerator application. At this stage we have been asked only whether the applicant has met their legal obligations to consult before submitting their application.
"While it is a key part of the process, this response will form only one part our wider opposition to the plans and the impact they will have on our environment and local community."
Alongside a number of other local authorities and organisations, Fenland District Council originally stated its opposition to the scheme back in February 2020, when a motion to the Council opposing the incinerator secured overwhelming support from elected members.
As the application for the Incinerator at Wisbech is considered a "Nationally Significant Infrastructure Project", it was submitted directly to the Planning Inspectorate on behalf of the Secretary of State. The decision therefore sadly bypasses Fenland District Council. This does not prevent the Council from speaking up against the project, which it is doing as clearly and loudly as it can.
Following the application submission on 7 July 2022, the Planning Inspectorate will now decide whether to accept the plan for consideration. As part of that decision, all statutory consultees, such as district councils, will first be asked whether the applicant has met their statutory obligation to conduct appropriate consultation. This decision is due to be made at the beginning of August.
Fenland District Council's response to the Inspectorate states that while the applicant may have technically met the legislative requirements with regard to consultation, it notes the observations of a number of people and organisations, including the MP Stephen Barclay; the local Town, District and County Councillor for the Ward, Cllr Steve Tierney; the action group WISWin and Wisbech Town Council, who were not satisfied with the practical adequacy of the applicants' consultations.
Article date: July 2022