Wisbech incinerator consulation to continue despite coronavirus lockdown

The proposed incinerator will be located at Algores Way in Wisbech. Picture: SUBMITTED/ STEVE BARCLA

The proposed incinerator will be located at Algores Way in Wisbech. Picture: SUBMITTED/ STEVE BARCLAY MP - Credit: Archant

The company behind the proposals says the documents can be viewed online and requested via post while government restrictions are in place.

MVV Environment Ltd has already postponed the public exhibitions that were set to take place at the end of March and in April.

The company has explained the public consultation is still ongoing, and events for the public will be rearranged after the coronavirus lockdown is lifted.

As many locations where the proposals can be viewed are closed, residents and interested stakeholders can access the proposals and submit feedback online or by writing to a freepost address.

However, campaigners say many who want to submit feedback will struggle to request the documents during the coronavirus lockdown. They are also urging the Secretary of State and other relevant parties to defer the proposals.

Paul Carey, Managing Director of MVV Environment Ltd, said, “We will continue with the current consultation exercise, which ends on May 4, and all feedback received will be collated and responses recorded in a Feedback Report.

“After the coronavirus restrictions have been lifted, we will launch a second phase of this consultation which will include rearranged exhibition events and document inspection locations.”

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He added: “Additional feedback will be collected during this second period and will also be included, along with responses, in the Feedback Report.”

The relevant documents can be viewed on the MMV Environment website and feedback forms are also available on the website. These can be completed either online or downloaded.

Those who do not have internet access can request the consultation documents by writing to ‘Freepost MVV’. Their feedback can also be sent to the freepost address.

A post on the WisWIN campaign group’s Facebook page earlier this week urged residents to log all correspondence related to the incinerator consultation with the date and time any message was sent.

It read: “We are attempting to get the Secretary of State to defer this dreadful proposal.

“He is currently replying to people that it’s down to the Planning Inspectorate. But the Planning Inspectorate say it’s a legal timetable that MVV will have to abide by.,,,”

It continued: “So we need to evidence to the Secretary of State that due to this unprecedented virus that the procedures to rush this through are not being adhered to. Please let us know when you have written so we can keep a log.”

Ginny Bucknor, who is helping to coordinate the WisWIN campaign, added: “Many residents who signed our petition don’t have the internet and can’t leave their homes because of the coronavirus lockdown. How can they voice their opinions or concerns?...”

MVV Environment Ltd are proposing the incinerator is built in Algores Way at a site which is 750 metres from Thomas Clarkson Academy and 350 metres from The Eye Clinic.

This first stage of MVV’s public consultation is part of the pre-application planning process for the site, which is named Medworth Energy from Waste Combined Heat and Power facility.

Developers say the energy from the waste combined heat and power facility will divert over half a million tonnes of landfill waste and expert every year and will generate over 50 megawatts of electricity.

It will also create steam which can be made available to local factories.

The total investment is said to be more than £300 million and around 700 jobs will be created during the three year construction, resulting in 40 full-time posts once it is up and running.

MVV Environment has said it will continue to monitor the coronavirus pandemic and will reschedule the public exhibitions and launch the second phase of the current public consultation. A further consultation opportunity will then be held later this year or early 2021.