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Fears firm could pylon the misery

Controversial plans for an electricity substation on the East Coast have raised fears pylons could be marching across the landscape outside Boston.

Planners at East Lindsey District Council (ELDC) are concerned the proposal from RWE Renewables could lead to an application for pylons from the substation to Bicker Fen in order to connect to the National Grid.

The substation – earmarked for Monksthorpe, Sloothby or Welton – would carry electricity generated by a planned off-shore wind farm.

If the substation is given planning permission, Bicker Fen would be the closest existing connection to the National Grid, putting Boston borough in the firing line for any pylons.

Business manager for planning at ELDC David Loveday said: “Nothing has been fixed at all, but it does not take an idiot to realise that there will be only one way of doing it and that will be to join points A and B and go for the cheapest option.”

If pylons were to join substations in East Lindsey and Bicker Fen, Mr Loveday said the council would be against such proposals and plans to lobby the energy firm to bring the energy ashore at Walpole, in the south of the county, where the infrastructure already exists.

The Campaign To Protect Rural England echoed Mr Loveday’s comments and argued the development had the potential to ‘totally wreck’ the county’s vistas, and ‘spoil’ Boston’s uninterrupted skyline.

Lincolnshire branch chairman John Rose said: “It’s not an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty, but it has a beauty all of its own.”

A spokesman for National Grid stressed no decision had been made on how to collect the electricity generated offshore, and all options were being considered, including coming ashore at Walpole.

Stephanie Van Rosse, senior communications adviser, said: “When National Grid agrees to connect a generator to the high voltage electricity system we conduct extensive studies and public consultation to identify the best way to do this, before making an application through the planning process.

“As and when we receive definite proposals for offshore wind farms in the North Sea we will follow this process and consult local people, but at this stage plans are only on the drawing board.”

The planning application for the substation is expected to be submitted next summer to the Government’s Infrastructure Planning Commission.