Caroline Spelman is to announce this week if £169m of withheld private finance credits to fund a controversial incinerator in Norfolk will be released, according to local reports.
A local MP who opposes the £500m King’s Lynn Power and Recycling Facility said she feared the environment secretary was about to give the green light for the credits to be released, according to the Eastern Daily Press.
Elizabeth Truss (Con), MP for South West Norfolk, said: “I am concerned about the content of the announcement. I made the point that people in South West Norfolk do not want the credits to be awarded unless there is a significant change in the proposals.
“I would have liked to have seen Defra working with councils involved to come up with a different solution.
“If the PFI credits are awarded the next stage is the planning process and raising the issue with Communities Secretary Eric Pickles.”
Spelman withheld the PFI credits to finance the King’s Lynn project last November, as exclusively revealed by MRW, following fierce local opposition. It would be built Cory Wheelaprator.
Norfolk County Council slammed the move. Cabinet member for environment and waste Bill Borrett said Spelman’s approach would “send shivers down the spine of all other authorities with major waste treatment proposals in the pipeline”.
He said: “I doubt there are many, if any, major infrastructure projects anywhere that could be delivered if Caroline Spelman’s apparent change of approach is repeated elsewhere.
“By her actions, she appears to have thrown a carefully followed process into chaos, and potentially put at risk the delivery of eight similar projects up and down the country earmarked for PFI credits totalling more than £500m.”