Campaigners have accused Norfolk County Council of trying to “dampen” opposition to its controversial £500m incinerator plans with funding for a nearby housing scheme.
The East Anglia county council this week released £1m for the 155-home Nar Ouse Regeneration Area housing project.
Funding had been placed under review in November when environment secretary Caroline Spelman withheld £91m in PFI credits for Cory Environmental’s £500m Willows Power and Recycling Facility.
Campaign group Kings Lynn Without Incineration claimed at the time that the council was trying to persuade King’s Lynn and West Norfolk Borough Council – which would have benefitted from the housing cash – to drop its opposition to the incinerator.
But with a decision from Spelman still pending, the county council has announced funding for the housing project, along with a further £1m for the nearbyThetford regeneration programme.
KLWIN committee member Michael De Whalley told MRW: “It is good news that the funding has been found for the Nar Ouse project to go ahead.
“I imagine the county council is trying to dampen dissent ahead of the next round of planning consultation. We will continue to oppose the incinerator as we believe there is so much wrong with it that has not been addressed.”
A Norfolk County Council spokesman said: “Councillors have looked at the money they have available and decided the schemes will go ahead.”
The authority said in November: “We cannot commit to any further expenditure while we consider the financial implications to the council of the increased risk to our Waste Infrastructure credits (formerly PFI credits).”
King’s Lynn and West Norfolk Borough Council said it welcomed the funding for the Nar Ouse project, but would continue to oppose the incinerator.
A decision on the incinerator credits is expected imminently.