MP’s anger at ‘inaccurate and misleading’ consultation on £300m incinerator 

Mega incinerator report from MP Steve Barclay

MP Steve Barclay (left) commissioned a report into consultation by MVV (managing director Paul Carey (right) into what he calls flawed consultations for a mega incinerator for Wisbech. A brief section of MVV's incinerator in Dundee (centre) - Credit: Archant

MP’s anger at ‘inaccurate and misleading’ consultation on £300m incinerator 

A report commissioned by MP Steve Barclay finds the consultation on a proposed Wisbech incinerator to be “inaccurate and misleading” and “designed to disguise negative impacts”. 

MMV Environment - owned by German energy company MVV - wants to build one of the largest waste incinerators (Energy from Waste Combined Heat and Power or EfW CHP) in Europe at Algores Way. 

Mr Barclay sent a report to Paul Carey, managing director of MVV Environment, that he had asked Lucent Energy and Infrastructure - a major consultancy- to prepare.  

Mr Barclay says it identifies “multiple inconsistencies, inaccuracies and outstanding questions which need to be addressed”. 

“The consultation is premature and not of an appropriate quality for a national infrastructure project [NSIP],” it concluded. 

“The proposal is non-compliant with national policy ….and the limited benefits of the project do not outweigh its adverse effects.”  

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These factors in combination “are such that the project is unlikely to obtain consent”. 

The report identifies where the public consultation falls short, including the lack of detail on proposed substations, grid connections, highways improvements and looking at alternative sites. 

It also references residential amenity, ash waste including parts entering landfill as hazardous waste, and modelling on air quality. 

For example, on the subject of alternative sites considered it notes that “it is not credible that the developer considered only one location for the project”. 

Perhaps the most scathing criticism is the “insufficiently accessible style used to present information, which appears designed to disguise negative impacts”.  

This is particularly relevant to one of the primary concerns of residents: the impact on air quality.  

The report says: “There has been no attempt to present the modelling in an easily accessible and understandable form; instead, the developer has presented over 270 pages of tables. 

“It could be assumed that this is because the developer does not wish to show potential effects on the developed areas of Wisbech, which are largely downwind from the proposed location”.  

It claims that “the consultation contains inaccurate and misleading information.”  

This is referring to likely inaccurate predictions on greenhouse gas emissions.  

These are presented as inaccurate due to policy changes which will reduce benefits claimed for transporting waste long distances. 

The report challenges the conclusion that the project will contribute towards the aims of the 6th Climate Budget. 

“The reality is that, as currently configured, the project would increase greenhouse gas emissions at a time when all industries must be rapidly decarbonising,” it says. 

It concludes: “There is simply no need for the project  

“It is being promoted as a nationally significant infrastructure project at a time when the Secretary of State has determined that there is no longer a national need for large new incinerators.”  

The ball is now very much in MMV Environment’s court.