What Cory Wheelabrator did next

It’s not really surprising that Cory Wheelabrator  are a little bit desperate. 93% said no to the King’s Lynn incinerator in a West Norfolk referendum. 97% said no in the Norfolk-wide planning consultation, including the majority of parish councils that responded. 22 local doctors, the Environment Agency,  Natural England,the Eastern Inshore Fisheries and Conservation Agency, the Norfolk Wildlife Trust and the Wash Estuary Strategy Group have all raised serous concerns or objected to the plan. However, their latest ploy really is something.

Yesterday, there were a few reports that a survey team was going door-to-door asking questions about the incinerator. One person they asked was allowed to see, and write down, what was on the survey paper, which has since been forwarded to me. Here it is;

1) The Willows Energy-from-Waste plant is a proposed development on the Saddlebow Industrial Estate, to the South of King’s Lynn , that will deal the bulk of non-recycled household waste in Norfolk . Have you heard of the Willows?
(Yes, No, Don’t Know)

2) If Yes, …. how did you hear about it?
3) In general terms, do you think it is right for waste left after reuse and recycling in Norfolk to be safely burnt, to produce energy, rather than being landfilled?
( Yes, No, Don’t Know)

4) Do you have any particular areas of concern about the Willows proposals, or any topics on which you would like more information?

5) Which of the following statements best describes your opinion about the Willows proposals?
(I support; I support this proposal but have some reservations; I have some concerns about the proposal; I oppose the proposal; I have no strong feelings about this proposal).

6) Do you have further questions or comments to add?

7) If supportive in answer to Question 5 – Would you be interested in submitting your views to the Council or in receiving more information updates from us? (If YES, collect contact details including email and telephone number).

There are couple of points to be made here. Firstly, nowhere does it mention the word “incinerator”, which is what this proposal is known as by most people. I wonder how many won’t have a clue what the survey means because of this choice of words, and therefore not answer as they would want to? In addition, the questions are clearly enticing people to say they support incineration, particularly Question 3 which gives only the option of landfill or incineration, and makes it sound as if waste is already recycled as much as possible.

Most importantly, though, is Question 7, which asks only people who support the incinerator whether they might be interested in writing to Norfolk County Council or getting updates from Cory Wheelabrator. In other words, they are trying to get as many people as they can to tell NCC that they support the incinerator. Not only is this obviously an act of desperation because practically nobody supports the plan, but personally I also think it’s disgusting that part-way through the planning process the applicant is essentially paying for people to go out and find who supports the idea, so they can get them to write in. We can only hope that people see this for what it is; a clever ploy by Cory Wheelabrator.

UPDATE: The survey is being carried out by a company calledhttps://jonaholiver.wordpress.com/wp-admin/post.php?post=90&action=edit Bellenden, which specialises in political, planning and corporate communications, who have been hired by Cory Wheelabrator. Perhaps surprisingly, as far as I can see (and I have not yet verified this), Bellenden is not a member of the British Polling Council. Of even greater interest, however, is that Norfolk County Council has hired Bellenden as a consultant on campaigns previously, most notably regarding the dualling of the A11. In fact, Daniel Cox, the ex-leader of NCC gave a glowing appraisal of the company saying

“By working together, we have achieved a stunning victory to bring forward completion of the dualling of the A11 by 18 months. Bellenden’s advice and engagement with decision makers in Westminster has been an important part in our success.”

However, they don’t seem to have been involved in this latest act.


2 responses to “What Cory Wheelabrator did next

  • Daniel K

    There’s a lot of talk about polls having been carried out by the local council etc etc. but Turkeys aren’t going to vote for Christmas are they? There is a chronic problem with landfilling and it’s effect on the water table (which people must consider). Also, a lot of people round here are unemployed and something like this will bring our town some much needed jobs. It’s alright for some of you middle class NIMBYs out there sitting on your nest egg but there’s top many on the dole here in K.L

    • jonaholiver


      I can see where you’re coming from, but I have to disagree. The whole point about this survey is that people don’t now what it’s about (no mention of incinerator) and the questions are rather slanted to favour the incinerator. The idea that this is a straight choice between landfill and incineration is just not true, whatever the County Council and Cory Wheelabrator might say. No one wants to see landfill (for the reason you state, and many more), but neither do we want to see incineration. There are plenty of far better alternatives; composting, greater recycling and sorting, anaerobic digestion, autoclaving, MBT etc. You’re quite right that we need more jobs in King’s Lynn and West Norfolk, but the incinerator will create a maximum of 40 jobs. It is estimated that similar sized recycling plants would create 1440 jobs, and it’s not as if that without the incinerator there would not be another waste treatment facility that would also create jobs. This is not a middle class thing, proper disposal and treatment of waste is something that affects all of us, whatever class. Neither is it NIMBYism; the site is very unsuitable (if you want more information on this let me know and I will send some to you), but I for one, and many others I know, would fight an incinerator wherever it was placed. It is not just whether an incinerator should be in King’s Lynn, but whether we want incineration at all. Wouldn’t you rather see a greener, more sustainable method of treating waste that provides more jobs and investment?

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