Northampton power plant decision pulled from agenda at last minute over ‘low-standard consultation’

The No Monster Incinerator in Northampton group on the steps of the Guildhall.

The No Monster Incinerator in Northampton group on the steps of the Guildhall.

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A decision on whether to grant developers a two-year option to build a power plant in Northampton has been pulled from tonight’s cabinet after the council questioned whether a consultation had been carried out properly.

The recommendation to consider the land agreement, which would give the developers of a waste to energy plant in St James, Northampton, an option to lease borough council land at Westbridge, has been withdrawn from the agenda hours before it was to be discussed.

Artist's impression of the proposed power plant in St James

Artist's impression of the proposed power plant in St James

Northampton Borough Council’s said cabinet members have decided that the potential developers, Rolton Kilbride, have not carried out sufficient public consultation to allow for any discussion to take place.

A spokeswoman said: “Cabinet has therefore decided to withdraw the matter from the agenda and tell the developers that no land deal will be discussed until they can show that they have carried out a sufficient level of consultation.”

Councillor Tim Hadland, cabinet member for planning, regeneration and enterprise, said: “We had been prepared to consider the recommendation to transfer the land at Westbridge to the developers in an objective way, but we had asked for and expected local residents and other groups to be fully consulted about the proposals.

“We have become aware that consultation has not taken place to the standard that we would expect and we are not prepared to discuss the land transfer until it has.”

Green party spokesman Tony Clarke, who helped form the No Monster Incinerator in Northampton campaign group, said the campaign had score a victory today.

He said: “I think the decision was inevitable. I think the report was unsafe.

“It was littered with untruths and it was clear Rolton Kilbride had not met the conditions the council set for them.

“For the council to have continued tonight would have been folly.

“Rolton Kilbride need to understand that we will fight this right to the end until we have chased them out of town.”