Frustrated councillors have accused RWE of “playing fast and loose” with people’s lives after the energy giant’s plans for Triton Knoll breathed fresh life into the area’s controversial ‘substation’ row.
RWE scrapped plans last year for a massive substation in the local countryside following a furious outcry from outraged residents, who were aghast at the idea of a large-scale industrial development in such a rural area.
However, although the substation was long ago taken off the table, RWE plans to use underground alternating current cables to bring the Triton Knoll offshore windfarm’s electricity ashore.
And one district councillor has warned that these plans would require a ‘reactive compensation compound’ somewhere between Anderby and Bicker Fen – a building so large it would be a susbtation “in all but name”.
District councillor Angie Smith raised her fears at a packed public meeting in Willoughby Village Hall on Saturday.
Around 140 residents filled the hall to voice their concerns over RWE’s plans for the laying of the underground cable through the area.
The meeting was attended by residents and parish council representatives from eight different parishes and was chaired by Coun Smith and County Councillor Colin Davie.
Coun Smith said: “The purpose of the meeting was to inform residents what RWE are proposing and some of the potential implications.
“Many people thought it was just underground DC cabling, but RWE’s new choice of using AC underground cables requires a Reactive Compensation Compound somewhere between Anderby and Bicker Fen.
“Although it has a different name, this compound will look just like a substation, and will receive power from the world’s largest offshore wind farm, so we are understandably concerned that it is going to be very industrial and large in size.”
Both Cllr Smith and Davie opposed what they felt was the inappropriate location of the planned RWE substation in 2010, which proposed building a 40-acre substation in East Lindsey.
“Our residents are concerned about the same negative impacts this new compound could have on our area as they were in 2010, namely the visual industrialisation of our area with a compound that will also produce noise pollution 24 hours a day and require compulsory purchasing of land from people that don’t want it.”
Coun Davie, who is chairman of the Environmental Scrutiny Committee at Lincolnshire County Council, commented: “It was fantastic to see so many people and parish councils represented at the meeting.
“I simply do not trust RWE to do the right thing by the people living on potential cable routes or near substation compounds.
“They need to stop putting profits before people, German shareholders before our local residents and communities. This project is costing in excess of £3.6 billion and much of this will end up been paid for by residents in Lincolnshire and further afield, through increased energy bills.
“They need to start listening and acting on what we are telling them, rather than playing fast and loose with people’s quality of Life.”
On leaving the meeting, residents were invited to donate to the Orby Windfarm Action Group fund to fight the Orby Marsh windfarm at this July’s Public Enquiry, and a total of over £220 was collected. OWAG would like to thank all those who donated.