New calls for incinerator public inquiry

FRESH calls have today been made for a public inquiry over a bid to build an incinerator in Suffolk following the release of a report on how the preferred site was selected.

FRESH calls have today been made for a public inquiry over a bid to build an incinerator in Suffolk following the release of a report on how the preferred site was selected.

The Liberal Democrat group on Suffolk County Council claim the report suggests that the main criteria for choosing a site was whether the authority owned the land.

A county council transport depot in Great Blakenham has been named as the preferred site for the controversial £600million incinerator project.

Following a Freedom of Information request made by The Evening Star it emerged that a further site in Great Blakenham - earmarked for the SnOasis development - as well as land in Felixstowe made the six-site short list for the waste-burning facility.


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A further three sites are yet to be named but it is known that the preferred site at Great Blakenham was the only council-owned land to make the short list.

Andrew Cann, deputy leader of the county's Liberal Democrat group, said: "This entire project seems to have taken place under a veil of secrecy and misdirection. First we were stalled in our requests for a copy of the business case.

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“Then the Tories stalled when asked to reveal the locations of the short-listed sites, making it very difficult to know if Great Blakenham really was the best option.

“It seems as if the real reason Great Blakenham has been chosen is that the County Council owns it and it will be much easier to get it rubber stamped at the planning committee - dominated by Tories - rather than subject to an independent review.”

Eddy Alcock, responsible for environment at Suffolk County Council, described the comments as a “scurrilous attack” on the council's own staff, who had put forward the sites.

He said: “To suggest that the Great Blakenham site was chosen because the council owns it and that they expect that to lead to an easy planning decision is an appalling attack on the professional integrity of a dedicated team of waste officers.

“The only public inquiry needed is one to evaluate the extent to which the Lib Dems understand the need for the need for common decency towards county council staff.”

n. Are you in favour of a public inquiry over the incinerator issue? Write to Your Letters, Evening Star, 30 Lower Brook Street, Ipswich, IP4 1AN or e-mail eveningstarletters@eveningstar.co.uk

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