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Village anger over speeding lorries

Speeding lorries working on various projects in Bicker Fen are disturbing villagers, so says a parish councillor.

Bicker councillor David Bowler, of Cowbridge Road, says residents have experienced disruption but don’t know which of three companies is at fault because of a lack of communication from Central Networks and Wind Prospect.

He claims the pair, along with the National Grid, have not been sticking to working times agreed in their planning permissions.

Coun Bowler said: “The National Grid and Central Networks are building a joint substation on the Fen, while Wind Prospect constructs a 13-turbine wind farm.

“It’s a difficult situation as problems are not all from one company, and when we get a speeding lorry it’s difficult to know who it belongs to.”

Coun Bowler said both the National Grid and Central Networks had provided points of contact ““ but that he was disappointed by the length of time it took Central Networks to do so.

He continued: “Contractors are not sticking to planning conditions when their vehicles travel here.

“We don’t want to be unreasonable and want the projects completed as soon as possible, but we have repeatedly requested more communication from Central Networks and Wind Prospects and have been ignored by them.

“Villagers are fed up with the situation.”

Coun Bowler wrote to Boston Borough Council asking for enforcement action against Wind Prospect.

Coun Neil McGregor, borough council portfolio holder for planning, said of the situation with Wind Prospect: “We investigated and discovered there had been a limited number of instances where deliveries to the site had been made outside agreed times.

“We contacted the company to make it aware of the situation.

“Wind Prospect stated it would take all reasonable steps to
prevent this happening again and indicated they would contact the people disturbed by the out-of-hours activity to say sorry, but we understand this hasn’t taken place.

“We’re working with the parish council, residents and the developer to ensure the construction progresses in accordance with planning conditions as far as reasonably possible.”

In response to the allegations from Coun Bowler, Wind Prospect general manager Richard Barker said: “The construction of the wind farm has not yet started, so no construction traffic has been accessing the site.

“When construction does commence, only the approved access route will be used.

“I will be writing to Bicker Parish Council this week to advise the expected start date for construction.

“During the construction and operational periods of the wind farm, a representative will be available to be contacted should any issues arise.”

Boston Standard

24 May 2007