November 1, 2010

Wind of progress for turbine plan as canal could be used to transport components

Scunthorpe Telegraph, 1 November 2010

A major obstacle to plans for North Lincolnshire’s biggest wind farm has been lifted.

RES has been given permission to erect 34 turbines on land near Keadby.

However, before it can start construction it must have a transport plan approved detailing how it will carry the structures to the site.

A preferred option by campaigners is to use road and water in an effort to reduce lorry journeys.

This would involve building a new bridge over a canal alongside the A18 and using the waterway for larger components.

The Commercial Boat Operators’ Society was opposed to using the canal.

However, it has now revised its objections over the use of a new bridge and the waterway.

David Lowe, national secretary for the society, said: “We walked up the canal bank of the site and we think it’s feasible to put in a wharf near the proposed bridge so barges can get up there.

“Most of the deliveries would come down from the river Trent.

“What we have said is we are prepared to support the bridge and access road but we are pressing that the transport plans use the canal for its deliveries.”

Campaigner Steve Brown said: “The society still insists the 224 abnormal loads could easily be delivered, four times per day, via canal, but have agreed delivery of aggregates is more winnable, and important to win, to stop all those thousands of HGV exhausts.”

Mr Brown said even if canal transport cost more than road, there would be grants to cover the difference.

When it becomes operational, the wind farm will generate about 80 Megawatts of electricity annually – enough to power about 38,000 homes per year.

Tom Fewster, RES project manager, said RES had listened to the feedback it received at last year’s public exhibitions and worked very hard over the past year to find a solution to the issues raised.

He said: “We are pleased to have been able to put forward a solution to the Keadby wind farm access issue, which has so much support among the local community.

“A traffic-management plan has not yet been drawn up for the wind farm. We are unable to make any progress on this until we know whether or not the bridge has been given planning permission and we are now awaiting a decision by North Lincolnshire Council.”

Planning officers have yet to make a decision on the plans for 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.

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