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Wisbech incinerator given go-ahead despite opposition

Councillors are united with residents and representatives across Cambridgeshire and Norfolk in disappointment and "disgust" that the proposal for a large incinerator in the Medworth ward of Wisbech was today (Tues, Feb 20) given permission by the Secretary of State.

Wisbech Aerial Photo

Medworth CHP Ltd applied for planning permission to create an energy from waste combined heat and power facility, capable of generating over 50 megawatts of electricity, in July 2022. 

Its proposals covered land on the Algores Industrial Estate in Wisbech, as well as a grid connection at the Walsoken Substation.

Owing to the size and significance of the proposed development, the Planning Inspectorate, rather than any local authority, examined the application and made its recommendation to the Secretary of State for the Department for Energy Security and Net Zero Clare Coutinho MP who has made the decision to approve the proposal.

The project was opposed by Fenland District Council, Wisbech Town Council, Cambridgeshire County Council, Norfolk County Council, and the Borough Council of King's Lynn and West Norfolk, as well as hundreds of local residents and  local action groups because of the scale of the development and potential negative impacts on residents.

In representations at the public inquiry earlier in the year, Fenland District Council, together with Cambridgeshire County Council, highlighted the impact of the suggested development on the landscape, emissions, and transport links in and around Wisbech.

Cllr Dee Laws, Fenland District Council portfolio holder for planning, said: "Today's decision is a huge disappointment to all of us who opposed this development.

"Fenland District Council worked closely with residents and partner organisations to demonstrate to the Planning Inspectorate and Secretary of State why this development was wrong for our residents, businesses and those in the wider area.

"Very sadly, the local voice has not been heard.

"Going forward we will do everything in our power to ensure the negative impact is minimised and to secure what benefits we can for our residents." 

Cllr Steve Tierney, district councillor for Wisbech South, said: "It is a dark day for Wisbech. The Government and its representatives have let us down, democracy has been ignored in favour of corporate interests.

"I personally feel depressed at this outcome and ashamed that the Government felt this was the right result. We did not deserve this. I'm disgusted."

Read the decision letter and see all the related documents on the Planning Inspectorate website.

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February 2024

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