Two groups fight to stop £300m mega incinerator for Wisbech

Barclay and WisWin

MP Steve Barclay (left) in London with a delegation of Conservative councillors there to meet Housing Secretary Robert Jenrick to discuss the mega incinerator. On the right are young supporters of WisWIN, the campaign group that now has over 3,000 Facebook supporters. - Credit: Steve Barclay/WisWIN

MP Steve Barclay provided a reminder that Wisbech has two groups opposed to a £300m mega incinerator by only inviting representatives from one to a Parliamentary meeting.  

Mr Barclay revealed he had invited two Wisbech Conservative councillors and town mayor Andrew Lynn to meet Housing Secretary Robert Jenrick.  

But there was no invitation to campaign group Wisbech Without Incineration (WisWIN) that has leafleted the town and outlying villages and organised protest meetings.  

Virginia Bucknor, a WisWIN spokesperson, said it was promising to hear the meeting had taken place. 

“I am sure residents in Wisbech would also be interested to learn how Robert Jenrick responded to concerns about the incinerator that were put to him,” she said. 

“I’d like to ask what was his view on this? How did he react? Residents would like to know more about what was said at the meeting, and the outcome.” 

The company behind the incinerator planned for Algores Way says its next consultation phase will begin at the end of the month. 

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MMV Environment says it has already held two non-statutory consultations last year during the coronavirus pandemic.  

This next process will be the statutory consultation, required by law, where proposals for the site will be presented in more detail. 

Despite many residents receiving MVV’s newsletter update today (Tuesday), MP Steve Barclay said “there has been little movement recently” on the proposals.   

The MP for North East Cambridgeshire said: “I remain strongly opposed to this flawed scheme.  

MP Steve Barclay meeting with Robert Jenrick, the Minister for Housing.

North East Cambridgeshire MP Steve Barclay and other elected representatives from Wisbech met with Robert Jenrick, the Secretary of State for Housing. While there, they discussed concerns about proposals to build a mega incinerator in the town. - Credit: MP Stephen Barclay

 

“In fact, it is surprising that any developer would want to waste money on such an unsuitable proposal.” 

Mr Barclay invited the Conservative delegation to London to meet Robert Jenrick, Secretary of State for Housing to discuss the incinerator proposals.   

“We were able to set out our concerns regarding the incinerator, discuss levelling up, and generally strengthen relationships between Fenland and the department for local government.” 

Campaigners outside the Rosmini Centre on the opening day of MVV Environment's exhibition into the p

Banners have been placed around Wisbech to raise awareness of the proposals. - Credit: Archant

MVV Environment says the next phase will outline feedback from members of the public raised during the last consultation in autumn last year.   

Campaigners outside the Rosmini Centre on the opening day of MVV Environment's exhibition into the p

Anti-incinerator campaigners continue to fight plans for the proposed incinerator for Wisbech. Pictures: Ian Carter - Credit: Archant

A newsletter distributed by the company this week explains it will launch the process towards the end of this month, with more public exhibitions being planned for July.   

The update also outlines MVV’s plans to set up "a local liaison committee" made up of residents and other representatives who will be interested in regular updates and joining meetings.   

It says: “Once formed, the committee will meet on a regular basis to discuss issues arising, project progress and community benefits.”   

Other areas mentioned in the newsletter include the options being considered to connect to the electricity grid and the environmental surveys being carried out.   

MVV had considered connecting to the Walpole sub-station but says it has now re-visited an earlier option of a much shorter connection route in Walsoken.   

Mrs Bucknor said: “These proposals in Wisbech are for a mega incinerator. “It will be one of the largest around if it goes ahead and will have a devastating impact on the area. 

“This kind of facility should not be built here – and we need to keep that pressure on.”   

Paul Carey, managing director of MVV Environment the company behind plans to build a mega incinerato

Paul Carey, managing director of MVV Environment the company behind plans to build a mega incinerator in Wisbech. Pictures: Ian Carter - Credit: Archant

Following the statutory consultation process this summer, MVV Environment will finalise its planning application for the facility in autumn. 

Known as the Medworth Energy from Waste Combined Heat and Power Facility, the incinerator is expected to create 40 jobs. 

It will make electricity by burning non-recycled waste that would otherwise go to landfill.   

Earlier proposals revealed the chimney would likely be around 95 metres high – the spire of Ely Cathedral is 66 metres.   

Campaigners outside the Rosmini Centre on the opening day of MVV Environment's exhibition into the p

Campaigners outside the Rosmini Centre on the opening day of MVV Environment's previous exhibition into the proposed incinerator for Wisbech. Pictures: Ian Carter - Credit: Archant

Ultimately the decision on whether or not the incinerator is approved for construction will be taken by the secretary of state for business, energy and industrial strategy. 

Wisbech incinerator plans 'massively flawed', says MP Steve Barclay. Picture: STEVE BARCLAY MP

"I remain strongly opposed to this flawed scheme," MP Steve Barclay said. - Credit: Archant

Kwasi Kwarteng MP currently holds this position. 

Wisbech Without Incineration Protest

Before the pandemic, some 80 protestors turned up in the industrial area of Wisbech opposing plans for a mega incinerator to be built in Wisbech. Members of Wisbech Without Incineration (WisWIN) say they were targeting local companies they feel may support the project. Picture; KIM TAYLOR - Credit: Archant

Wisbech Town Council has set aside £35,000 to fight the Wisbech incinerator plans. 

If you would like to be part of MVV’s liaison committee, email medworth@mvvuk.co.uk, telephone 01945 232231 or visit www.mvv-medworthchp.co.uk.   

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