King's Lynn incinerator: Council's challenge rejected

King's Lynn incinerator protesters outside of County Hall, Norwich Campaigners protested outside of County Hall during the planning meeting in June this year

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A legal challenge to a controversial £500m waste incinerator in Norfolk has been rejected at the High Court.

The plant, at Saddlebow, King's Lynn, was granted planning permission by Norfolk County Council but the government will make a final decision.

King's Lynn and West Norfolk Council challenged the £169m of government funding at the High Court.

But Mr Justice Eady said there was "no arguable case" for a judicial review of the decision.

The council said it would be seeking a meeting with the judge to clarify the reasons for the refusal.

Public inquiry call

Nick Daubney, leader of King's Lynn and West Norfolk Borough Council, said: "We are disappointed that our case has not at this stage been given permission.

"An oral hearing will give us the opportunity to persuade the judge of the merits of our case.

"In the meantime, our focus of attention is to continue to press the case for Eric Pickles, Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government, to call in the application and instigate a full, independent public inquiry.

"A public inquiry gives people the opportunity to make representations to an independent planning inspector."

Bill Borrett, Norfolk County Council cabinet member for environment, said: "I welcome Mr Justice Eady's very clear ruling, which notes there is no arguable case on either irrationality or illegality.

"I said at the time the legal action was launched that I doubted whether the decision to pursue this legal challenge represented good value for local taxpayers.

"Securing credits worth £169m for the project over 25 years in January was very positive news for Norfolk residents as the grant represented the largest amount of central government funding for a single project that this council had ever received.

"I'm obviously pleased that the threat to the credits has now been removed."

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