Campaigners have welcomed plans by energy company RES to build a new bridge that, if given the go-ahead, should pave the way for minimal impact on people during the construction of its Keadby wind farm site.
A planning application has been submitted to North Lincolnshire Council for the Pilfrey bridge, which will span drainage ditches, the Stainforth and Keadby Canal and the railway line, on the site of the part-completed power station bridge to the east of Ealand village.
RES Renewables plan to begin work on a 34-turbine wind farm at Keadby if planning permission for the new bridge is approved.
It would divert the traffic away from the villages and get the development back on track.
Trevor Brown, 51, of Ivydean Cottage, Main Road, Eastoft, thinks the proposed plans are much better.
He said: “It’s a better idea because there is nothing on that road apart from a pub, so it makes more sense for the wind farm traffic to come that way.
“There are so many listed buildings in Eastoft and in Ealand and there are too many corners.
“I would think there will be minimal impact in Crowle, Ealand and Eastoft during the construction process.”
Since North Lincolnshire Council turned down the company’s traffic management plan last year, RES has been working hard to address concerns raised by the council and the local community.
Stewart Alexander, construction manager for the wind farm , said: “In the past, securing access routes across the railway and canal has been extremely problematic, but, with the backing of the local community and key politicians, we managed to overcome some difficult, but significant, hurdles at the start and found a solution which minimises impacts on the communities around Eastoft.
“We listened to the feedback we received at last year’s public exhibitions and worked very hard over the past year to find a solution to the issues they raised.
“We would not have got to this stage without the valuable input and local knowledge from local politicians and councillors and we are very grateful for their assistance.
“We are also very grateful to Network Rail, British Waterways, Scottish and Southern Energy, the Environment Agency and North Lincolnshire Council, all of whom have been instrumental in helping to draw up the plans for the new bridge.”
The planning application for the new bridge will now be assessed by North Lincolnshire Council.
If approved, RES’ next step will be to produce a new traffic management plan for the wind farm, which will need to be signed off by North Lincolnshire Council, before construction on the wind farm could begin.
A spokeswoman for Network Rail said: “We have informed the company of the fee and they are considering that.”
Mike Welton, head of planning at North Lincolnshire Council, said: “I can confirm that we have received the full planning application for Pilfrey Bridge, which will cross the canal and the railway.
“The plans say it will remain a privately owned bridge for private access during the construction of the wind farm at Keadby and Althorpe.
“Once we have checked the application and validated the plans they will appear on the North Lincolnshire Council website. It will also go out to public consultation via the parish councils where the public can have their say.”