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Wisbech Incinerator

Medworth CHP Ltd is proposing an Energy from Waste Combined Heat and Power (EfW CHP) project in the Medworth ward of Wisbech that will be determined by the Secretary of State for Energy Security and Net Zero.

The project falls into the Nationally Significant Infrastructure Project (NSIP) process defined through the Planning Act 2008 (as amended), and will be considered under Part 3 Section 14 of the legislation because the generating station is located in England and has a generating capacity of over 50 megawatts (see section 15(2) of the 2008 Act). Responsibility for accepting and examining the NSIP application rests with the Secretary of State and not the local authorities, who are identified as statutory consultees, or ‘host’ authorities, in the NSIP process.

As the proposal spans Cambridgeshire and Norfolk there are four ‘host’ authorities (Cambridgeshire County Council, Fenland District Council, Norfolk County Council and the Borough Council of King’s Lynn and West Norfolk) involved in this NSIP project. All four ‘host’ planning authorities have undertaken to work together as far as possible to ensure full scrutiny of this project is undertaken.

It is important to note that as the ‘host’ planning authorities are not the determining authorities, any correspondence in relation to this matter needs to be directed to Medworth CHP Ltd in the first instance and then the Planning Inspectorate.

For further details of the NSIP process for this project, please visit the Planning Inspectorate (PINS) website.

Details of Medworth CHP Ltd proposals, including any consultation events held, are available on their website.

Consultation responses

Cambridgeshire County Council has submitted responses throughout the NSIP process for this project, in relation to the applicant’s consultation. These include:

Following the submission of the Cambridgeshire County Council formal response to the Medworth CHP Ltd Statutory Consultation, an error was identified with regard to the calculations of vehicle movements on page 8 relating to the 'Traffic and Transport' Chapter of the Preliminary Environmental Information Report (PEIR).

The below Errata, giving an explanation of the error and its correction, was submitted to Medworth CHP Ltd on 20 August 2021 to correct the error and accompany the County Council's formal response.

Examination

Throughout the Examination period, Cambridgeshire County Council, jointly with Fenland District Council, submitted responses as required by the Planning Inspectorate, including a

All submissions can be found in the Examination Document Library (Planning Inspectorate website)

The Examination closed on 21 August 2023. The Examining Authority had three months following the end of examination to write its summary report and make a recommendation to the Secretary of State. This report was issued to the Secretary of State on 21 November 2023.

The Examining Authority’s recommendation report is only made public once a decision has been made by the Secretary of State. The Secretary of State had three months in which to make a decision.

Decision

On 20 February 2024, the Secretary of State for the Department for Energy Security and Net Zero made the decision to grant consent to the Development Consent Order Application by Medworth CHP Ltd for the Medworth Energy from Waste Combined Heat and Power Facility (also known as the Wisbech Incinerator).

The Planning Inspectorate (PINs) issued a recommendation report to the Secretary of State in November 2023, following the 6-month Examination period, but the contents of this report were only made public on Tuesday 20 February 2024 alongside the decision.

More information, including the Secretary of State’s decision letter, and the PINs recommendation report, can be found on the Planning Inspectorate’s webpage for this project.