Incinerator bid prompts more anger

A BID to build a controversial £600million incinerator just six miles from Ipswich has today been described as “absolute madness” by a top Suffolk politician.

A BID to build a controversial £600million incinerator just six miles from Ipswich has today been described as “absolute madness” by a top Suffolk politician.

The criticism came after Suffolk County Council's Conservative cabinet agreed the way forward for a waste-burning plant at Great Blakenham.

The Labour opposition claims none of the most obvious risks to the project have been either identified or guarded against meaning huge amounts of money could be wasted if the plans flounder.

Councillor Sandy Martin, Labour group spokesman for environment, said there are three major problems with the plans; public opposition will force the incinerator to be ditched, there won't be enough rubbish to feed the incinerator and tougher emissions regulations will make the incinerator more expensive or even stop it from opening.

Mr Martin said: “It is absolute madness to commit the county to a project costing £612 million over 28 years when nobody can possibly know what is going to happen during that time.

“If this decision goes through and the incinerator gets built, it will be our children paying for it, even if they don't want or need to use it."

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At yesterday's cabinet meeting, councillors agreed to accept a government subsidy of £102m in the form of private finance initiative (PFI) credits.

They also agreed that once government confirms its approval of the subsidy the council will go out to tender for a new waste plant.

Eddy Alcock, responsible for environment and waste management said: "I was pleased that the cabinet agreed with all the recommendations that were put to them today.

“This now means that we can move forward in developing a residual waste treatment facility for Suffolk.

“We currently prefer energy from waste as an option but we will be open minded if the tenderers decide to propose an alternative solution.

"I have agreed with the council's senior managers that we will make sure our criteria places great importance on ensuring that health and environment standards are paramount and we have a good design and architectural standards.

"Last year we announced that we currently favour energy from waste because it is a good environmental choice, a tried and tested technology which we know will work; and a good choice for the council tax payer.

"If we don't do anything, we will suffer huge financial penalties for failing to comply with the Government's targets for progressively reducing the amount of biodegradable waste going to landfill sites.”

An announcement over government approval for PFI funding the incinerator is expected to be made later this month.

Are you in favour of an incinerator in Great Blakenham? Write to Your Letters, Evening Star, 30 Lower Brook Street, Ipswich, IP4 1AN or e-mail eveningstarletters@eveningstar.co.uk

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