Barclay not involved in proposed Wisbech plant discussions

Following concern from officials regarding the environment secretary’s role in the proposed 625,000 tonne energy from waste (EfW) Wisbech plant, the Department for environment, food & rural affairs (Defra) has confirmed Steve Barclay is “recused” from the decision.

Steve Barclay is 'recused' from the decision

Defra has said that junior minister, Mark Spencer, will be responsible and “would take any decision” on what would be one of Europe’s biggest EfW incinerators (see letsrecycle.com story).

The plant, owned by MVV Environment, is to be situated in Mr Barclay’s North East Cambridgeshire constituency.

He actively opposes the plant, once vowing to “continue to do everything possible to fight” against the incinerator being built.

The scheme has faced backlash from several local MPs, including former prime minister, Liz Truss, and five nearby councils, with campaigners raising concerns about increased lorry traffic, air pollution, the visual impact and smell.

‘The go-ahead’

The £300m combined heat and power plant, first proposed in 2019, will handle 500,000 tonnes of waste a year.

The department for energy security and net zero gave the plant the go-ahead last month, following a recommendation from the planning inspectorate. But to move ahead, the scheme is said to also require a permit from the Environment Agency.

Labour had written to Mr Barclay, stating that the story “raises serious issues, potentially involving a breach of the ministerial code”. In the letter, shadow environment secretary Steve Reed urged Mr Barclay to publish any correspondence he has had with the Environment Agency about the Wisbech plant.

Defra has confirmed Steve Barclay is “recused” from the decision.

Share this article with others

Subscribe for free

Subscribe to receive our newsletters and to leave comments.

Back to top

Subscribe to our newsletter

Get the latest waste and recycling news straight to your inbox.