Cornwall Council’s Cabinet have endorsed the draft revised project plan for incinerator and approved proposals to provide a grant of £200,000 a year for the benefit of the local community during construction.

Members spent more than two hours debating a wide range of issues relating to the draft revised project plan before finally giving it the go ahead.

The endorsement is a step towards finally beginning the construction of the plant in August 2013, once the haul and access road has been completed. Work on the construction of the road resumed earlier this year and is scheduled to be completed by August next year.

Lance Kennedy, the council’s portfolio holder for waste management, said that whilst he had previously opposed the incinerator, he now accepted that the Cornwall Energy Recovery Centre represents a practical and affordable solution which will play a key role in managing Cornwall’s waste for the next 30 years.

“I recognise that some people remain unhappy about this proposal but the hard facts are that we can’t afford to delay any longer. The Cornwall Energy Recovery Centre has been thoroughly tested through the planning and legal processes over the past six years and has been found to be acceptable and is commercially deliverable. To effectively start the process again is not a viable option.”

Adding that he understood the concerns of the local residents, Mr Kennedy said that he fully supported the proposals put forward by the local member Fred Greenslade to provide community funding of £200,000 a year for the Centre’s construction period.

Once the plant is operational the local community will benefit from a Community Fund the value of which will be around £100,000 a year for the 30 year period of the contract.

Members of the Cabinet also agreed to support two further recommendations put forward by Mr Greenslade at the meeting. These include allocating an additional £15,000 per year for providing educational bursaries for the benefit of the St Dennis electoral division and St Dennis Parish and a sum of up to £10,000 a year to meet the costs of independent soil and air testing.

These will be in addition to the tests which will be carried out by the Environment Agency. Both sums, which will be index linked, will be paid to and administered by St Dennis Parish Council or another appropriate local accountable body for the duration of the integrated waste management contract.