Clock is ticking on biomass power station plan decision

Extra lorries using the A17 is just one of the protestors' concerns.
Extra lorries using the A17 is just one of the protestors' concerns.

Parish councils meet tonight (Tuesday) to consider a joint response to controversial plans for a £300million biomass power station at Wingland.

Sutton Bridge Parish Council will host the meeting with no public invited.

The talks come at the eleventh hour as South Holland District Council could decide the application from EnergyPark Sutton Bridge – also known as PREL – as early as next month.

South Holland’s planning chairman Roger Gambba-Jones said: “We are going to take it to the committee in February unless anyone derails it.”

It’s likely the council will relay the debate to a separate room at its Spalding offices to avoid the council chamber being overwhelmed by campaigners.

King’s Lynn and West Norfolk Borough Council has lodged what it calls a “holding objection” because it wants to know more about air quality monitoring around the plant and also the cumulative sources of air pollution.

Campaigners in Sutton Bridge, who have formed a group called BATI (Bridge Against The Incinerator), claim the biomass plant is a Trojan horse to burn household and industrial waste,

King’s Lynn and West Norfolk councillors are insisting on a planning condition that restricts the type of materials used at the gasification plant.

A report to its planning committee says: “It is considered that fuels should be restricted to forestry management, virgin timber sawmill residues, agricultural crops and crop residues.”

Public meetings in Sutton Bridge have heard worries ranging from the number of extra lorries using the A17 to pollution at the plant.

Parish council chairman John Grimwood said: “The real concern I have is air quality. I think the majority of people in the village are concerned about that.”