Planning Application - Saddlebow Incinerator

See the relevant Borough Council information here

Following the withdrawal of the planning application in January 2015,the Borough Council now considers the matter to be closed. Its pages concerning this matter will no longer be updated.

April 7th. 2014


see more here


The Public Inquiry has closed. The Inspector will, in due course, submit a report and her recommendations to the Secretary of State, who will make the final decision on the outcome of the plan to construct and operate the incinerator. This decision may be expected late this year or early in 2014.

UPDATE 26 February 2013

The Public Inquiry was due to commence today. Due to illness of the appointed Inspector, a new appointment has been made; Elizabeth Hill replaces Kenneth Smith.

It is expected that the final timetable for the inquiry will be resolved today (26 February). Following this opening meeting, the inquiry will be adjourned for one week - until March 5th. This is necessary to allow the newly appointed Inspector to familiarise herself with the case documents.

The latest information about the Inquiry may be seen on the Borough Council website - see the link in the box on the right of the screen.

UPDATE 29 November 2012 / 14 January 2013

The preliminary pre-inquiry meeting was held at Lynnsport on 28th. November 2012. This meeting was a public meeting and was concerned with the procedures to be followed at the Public Inquiry which starts in February 2013.

The Public Inquiry will commence on 26 February at 10am at The Corn Exchange.

All subsequent meetings will be held at the West Norfolk Professional Development Centre, Kilham's Way, King's Lynn - PE30 2HU. (This is situated behind the Fire Station on Edward Benefer Way). Exceptionally, meetings where the public are invited to speak will be held at the Corn Exchange. The dates and times of these sessions will be advised by the Programme Officer

The Inquiry will sit for four days a week - Tuesday to Friday - and is expected to take 5 weeks - lasting until 19th. April..

The timetable for the Inquiry shows that the Inspector's report is expected to be submitted to the Secretary of State on or before 19th. July 2013. This is to be confirmed within 10 working days of the close of the Inquiry.

The date for the decision following the inquiry is yet to be confirmed.

The Statements of Case prepared by the County Council, The Borough Council and KLWIN are available to view at County Hall or online here ; Further information will be added as it becomes available.

A good deal of information, and links to documents and so on, is also available on the Borough Council website - see the link in the box to the right.


THE PUBLIC INQUIRY. The Planning Inspectorate is responsible for running the inquiry and it has announced a draft timetable which states that the inquiry will be held on 26 February 2013 and a pre-inquiry meeting (PIM) will take place on 28 November. Both meetings with be held at Professional Development Centre on Kilham's Way, King's Lynn.

It is expected that the inquiry will last approximately 20 days

UPDATE 1 SEPTEMBER 2012. The Government Communities Secretary has 'called in' the scheme to build the incinerator. It is reported that following the decision to 'call in' the scheme, there will be a full public inquiry into the matter. It is expected that a public inquiry will be held in 2013, to be conducted by a Planning Inspector.

See a Lynn News report concerning the matter and the link above to the Borough Council's page.

The Lynn News also reports that Palm Paper has decided to seek planning permission to build a gas turbine power plant for it's own use, though the Borough Council has said that, as yet, no planning application had been received. It had previously been expected that Palm Paper would be a customer for the power to be generated by the planned incinerator.

UPDATE 2 July 2012

Planning Committee passes the planning application for the incinerator, at a meeting held at Norwich on 29th. June. See More about this here This link will take you to a BBC News page.

However, the plans for the incinerator cannot be taken further until the Communities Secretary, Eric Pickles, has given approval. See below, GOVERNMENT INTERVENES IN THE PROCESS, for more about this point.

UPDATE. 28 June 2012

GOVERNMENT INTERVENES IN THE PROCESS. It is reported today that the Communities Secretary, Eric Pickles, has intervened in the planning procedure. The County Council were to discuss the matter tomorrow (29th June) in the light of the planning officers recommending that the Planning Committee should back the application.

This is now ON HOLD. It is possible that a public enquiry could be ordered, chaired by a Planning Inspector, before the Communities Secretary would make a decision.

See the Eastern Daily Press for a report on this.

UPDATE. 24 June 2012

County Council officials recommend that the Planning Committee should back the planning application at the meeting to be held on Friday 29th June (see below)

UPDATE. 19 June 2012

Planning Officers have completed a report on the planned incinerator for Saddlebow ; it is expected that the report will be published on 19 June.

The County Council Planning Committee is to discuss the report at a meeting to be held on FRIDAY 29th. JUNE at County Hall If you wish to speak at the meeting you must give written notice, no less than 48 hours before the meeting.

Notice must be given to:

The Head of Democratic Services, quoting Reference C/2/2011/2020, either by :-


post: The Head of Democratic Services, Norfolk County Council, County Hall, Martineau Lane, Norwich NR1 2DH

Telephone: Democratic Services - 01603 223055

UPDATE. 15 MAY 2012

Norfolk County Council is now to conduct yet another consultation regarding the planning application for the Saddlebow Incinerator.

Having received additional information from the applicant, Cory Wheelabrator, relating to the application, the County Council is inviting comments on the subject.

It is understood that the new information received refers to matters concerning transport and landscaping and to 'incinerator bottom ash', (IBA), a by-product of the incineration process.

See below - 'COMMENTING ON THE APPLICATION' - for details about how to submit your comments. The closing date for this consultation is 5th. JUNE 2012

Note that comments already made to the Council need not be repeated - such comments will be taken into account.


You may find the relevant documentation at Major Developments

This link will open another page on the County Council website

You may see the documentation at the Borough Council Offices and at the libraries in the town centre and at Gaywood.

Comments may be made as below, quoting Reference C/2/2011/2020 on all correspondence,

Online: Go to and click ‘Register now’ at the top of the page. Once you have filled in a registration form, you may submit your comments instantly via the website.

by e-mail (

by letter to Planning Services Manager, Environment, Transport & Development, Planning Services, County Hall, Martineau Lane, Norwich NR1 2UD.

(Note that all correspondence will be held on file and may be viewed by any member of the public)

3 May 2012


The Lynn News reports that, in what appears to have been a genuine error, The Norfolk County Council, in a summary of planning matters posted on on its web site concerning the incinerator , indicated that the plans were 'permitted/approved' - a tick in the wrong box perhaps.

The County Council's Assistant Director of Public Protection wholeheartedly apologised for what was a genuine mistake.

The application has not been approved and the final decision lies with the planning committee - though The Borough Council is being urged to press the Community Secretary, Eric Pickles, to 'Call In' the final decision - see below for what this means.


Labour councillors have written to The Communities Secretary - Eric Pickles - asking that he "Call In" the final decision on the plans for the incinerator. This would lead to a Public Enquiry held by an independent planning inspector, allowing interested parties to have their say in the matter.

The Councillors say that "it would be entirely inappropriate for the County Council to judge the merits of the application. We would see this as being judge and jury in their own cause".

Meanwhile, a report to the West Norfolk Borough Council planning committee, made by planning officers, claims that there is the potential for the importing of 'bottom ash', a by-product of incineration, from other sites, for processing at Saddlebow. This is lilkely because the design of the plant shows surplus capacity above what the plant itself will require.

There are also doubts about the claims made for the amount of emissions that will be saved, compared with using landfill. This doubt is the result of an incorrect assessment having been made of the emissions due to landfill.

The report calls for County Council officials to clarify these issues, saying that if emissions from the plant were not lower than using landfill then planning guidelines would be breached.

See the link at the top of the page for the Borough Council's view of the situation.

UPDATE. 30 MARCH 2012.

On 27 March 2012, The County Council received additional information from Cory Wheelabrator, the applicant, relating to the planning application for the incinerator.

As a result, the County Council is now seeking views on the information that has been submitted and would welcome any comments you might wish to make.

Note that if you have already commented on the subject then it is not necessary to reiterate those comments - you need only make new comments about the new information that has been provided.

UPDATE. 13 MARCH 2012.

At the meeting held on Monday 12 March, the Borough Council elected to maintain its objection to the the proposals to build the incinerator. The meeting was told that by 2020 it would be prohibited to incinerate any material that could be recycled, but the scheme contained no provision to sort waste to separate such material.

The County Council waste strategy had stated that it would be necessary to have available the means to dispose of 700,000 tonnes of waste by 2020; Moreover, more than half of this capacity would be required by 2015. Cory Environmental senior planning officer has said that the Saddlebow plant is the only one that has a realistic chance of being operational by that date.


The Lynn News reports that in a report to the Borough Council, to be discussed at a meeting on Monday 12th March at the Town Hall, planning officers say that some of the previously stated objections can no longer be maintained, because of new information now available and changes that have been made to policy. Objections to transport, the impact on other investment and surface water drainage are no longer valid. Other aspects concerning air quality, noise, smell and dust can be addressed through conditions to be applied if the scheme is approved.

However, planning officers believe that the planned scheme is still not in accord with planning guidelines on flood risk grounds. They take the view that there are other sites available in the county at a lower risk of flooding; these sites should be used before building in a high flood risk area, such as Saddlebow. The officers recommend that the planning committee should continue to object to the plans.


It is believed that the County Council Planning committee will discuss the application on 20th. April 2012 at a meeting, commencing at 10am, at County Hall.

The Planning Committee's report which will be discussed at the meeting should be posted on the County Council website a week before the meeting.

See more about this here


The Environment Agency (EA) has previously objected to the scheme over concerns about the possible flood risk at the site; it was not satisfied that enough informations had been made available about the risk assessments made with regard to flooding, and whether other possible sites had been investigated. However, the (EA) has now dropped its objections to the planning application.

A separate application is required for an Environmental Permit and this application will be made by Cory Wheelabrator to the Environment Agency. The Environmental Permit application deals with pollution control measures, whilst the planning application process looks at whether the use is acceptable in land use planning terms. This matter is under consideration by the EA

See more about this here


The second public consultation about the planning application for the installation of the incinerator is coming to an end - MONDAY FEBRUARY 20TH. is the last day.

Any objections that you may have regarding the plans for incinerator MUST be received at County Hall by that date.

To see more and ways to comment about the plans click here

You can find useful information about the application and the consultation procedure online, together with a list of frequently asked questions at: Planning Applications - on the County Council website.


NCC Planning Committee is to discuss the plans for the incinerator at a meeting at County Hall on 6th. January 2012.

Planning Officers have reported that more than 96% of the representations received about the plans for the incinerator had made objections to the scheme.

However, fears are being raised that the Secretary of State for the Environment, Caroline Spelman, will release the Government grant for the scheme. It is understood that though most of the Parish Councils which had responded were opposed to the scheme, other District Councils, in letters to the Secretary of State. had had supported it.

Caroline Spelman has previously said that no grant will be made unless the Council can show evidence of a consensus of opinion in support of the scheme.

The following is taken from the NCC web site and concerns the planning application for the proposed incinerator at Saddlebow.

See below for details of how to make your views known, online, by post, or at drop in sessions at The King's Lynn and Gaywood libraries.

Note that the Environmental Agency is also conducting a public consultation on the matter; this will include two drop in sessions at the Duke's Head Hotel.

See here for details.

15 June 2011

A six-week formal consultation on a planning application for a power and recycling centre on the Willows Business Park at Saddlebow, King's Lynn will begin next week. (Wednesday 22 June 2011)

Norfolk County Council has received an application from Cory Wheelabrator and the application has now been through the authority's standard validation process.

A key part of any planning application is consultation with local residents and businesses and other statutory and non-statutory consultees. The normal period for commenting on planning applications is 21 days, however, given the number of people who have already registered an interest in this particular application, the County Council has decided to extend the consultation period to six weeks.

The formal consultation runs from Wednesday 22 June until Wednesday 17 August.

By law, with planning applications, the County Council has to consult with statutory consultees. These are key organisations that must be consulted on all proposals that affect their area of interest. The authority must also carry out statutory publicity, by placing an advertisement in the local press and displaying a notice on or near the site.

The County Council's policy is also to write to residents and businesses next to, or adjoining, the site to notify them of the application. On this occasion, due to the level of interest, the authority will be going above and beyond what is required and will be notifying a wider audience. Planning officers have looked at the application site area and have identified what they consider to be the nearest communities. The council will be writing to residents and businesses within this area, giving details of where they can view the application and how to make comments.

The County Council will respond to all parties commenting on the planning application to acknowledge receipt of the comments raised and these comments will be considered by officers when preparing their recommendation for members to consider at the relevant planning committee. All comments will be carefully considered, but unfortunately the authority does not have the resources to enter into detailed correspondence regarding the issues raised.

However, the County Council is keen to hear views from as many people as possible and all views are welcome.

Graham Plant, Cabinet Member for Planning and Transportation, said: "There are clearly defined rules relating to all planning applications and this application is no exception. Having said that, the County Council has looked carefully at the period we are legally required to consult for and feel that given the amount of interest we should extend the consultation period. In fact we have doubled it to give people more of an opportunity to make their views known."

As with any planning application the specific issues that planners can take into account when assessing an application are defined in planning law.

These include:

* Noise impact

* Dust

* Smell

* Air pollution and health

* Traffic congestion

* Road safety

* Flood risk

* Trees and wildlife

* Design and landscape

* Ground conditions (including stability and potential contamination

You are able to make your views known in a number of ways as shown below :-

A. * Online: A copy of the full application may be read on the County Council website

It will include a link to a separate website: -

where the application documents and plans will be available to view, along with comments made on the application.

The Planning Application Summary is here

To take part in the consultation online click here.

B. * At a series of 'drop-in' sessions. These will be held at local libraries and give people the chance to view the application documents and plans, to ask questions about the planning process and to submit comments.

Dates for the drop-in sessions are:

Gaywood Library, River Lane, Gaywood, King's Lynn:

Tuesday 28 June 2011 15.00 hours - 20.00 hours - completed.

Thursday 14 July 2011 3pm - 8pm - completed

King's Lynn Library, London Road, King's Lynn:

Saturday 2 July 2011 10.00 hours - 15.00 hours - completed.

Wednesday 13 July 2011 3pm - 8pm - completed

All of the planned drop in sessions have now been completed.

C. * By email:

D. * By post to:

Planning Services

Environment, Transport and Development

Norfolk County Council

County Hall

Martineau Lane

Norwich NR1 2UD

The Farmers campaign against the proposed incinerator, and a draft letter of objection that you may use, may be seen here

Copies of the application will be placed at County Hall (Martineau Lane, Norwich), Borough Council of King's Lynn & West Norfolk offices (King's Court, Chapel Street, King's Lynn), local libraries in the King's Lynn area (King's Lynn, Gaywood, Dersingham, Hunstanton, Downham Market) and in Norwich (The Millennium Library at The Forum) as they become available and at the drop-in sessions.

As with all planning applications a recommendation on whether to grant planning permission will then go before members of the County Council's Planning (Regulatory) Committee for consideration. This meeting will be held in public.


A separate application is required for an Environmental Permit and this application will be made by Cory Wheelabrator to the Environment Agency. The Environmental Permit application deals with pollution control measures, whilst the planning application process looks at whether the use is acceptable in land use planning terms.

Note that the Environmental Agency is also conducting a public consultation on the matter; this will include two drop in sessions at the Duke's Head Hotel.

See here for details.


February 2015.


In all communications with the County Council about this matter use the reference:-

C/2/2011/220 - Willows Power and Recycling Centre

Consultation Period

The formal consultation runs from Wednesday 22 June until Wednesday 17 August.

Click here to see The Borough Council's 'Incinerator Update'

Note that this page is no longer being updated by the Borough Council - though previously posted information will remain.

See also further information about the Waste Disposal Incinerator