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Councillors fight to stop ‘trashing’ of their district

Campaigners are continuing their fight to prevent the “trashing of East Lindsey” by wind turbines and pylons.

MP Sir Peter Tapsell attended a public meeting at Willoughby Village Hall on Friday where the next step of the campaign to prevent an electricity substation being built in the area was discussed.

RWE npower renewables ended the first stage of consultation into proposals for a 40-acre electricity substation on one of three sites at Sloothby (purple zone), Welton Le Marsh (green zone) and Monksthorpe (orange zone) last month. This will connect to the proposed Triton Knoll wind farm, off the coast of Mablethorpe.

Sir Peter said: “I have made it obvious I am totally opposed to any wind turbines being put in my constituency.

“I think there’s a very good chance that we can kill the thing absolutely dead in the beginning and that these wind turbines out to sea will either be turned down by Government or RWE will not find it profitable enough for it to go ahead.

“If they do give permission its extremely difficult to stop the substation going ahead somewhere.”

RWE has said it expects to launch stage two of its consultation process in Spring 2011, which will provide more detailed information on all aspects of the proposals.

They then intend to submit an application towards the end of 2011. This will be decided by the MIPU which is expected to replace the current Infrastructure Planning Commission.

Although as an MP, Sir Peter has no standing with regard to planning matters, he has agreed to speak with various ministers about the proposals.

He added: “My constituents have asked me to use all power to get the whole thing stopped and I promise you I will do my best to do that.”

The main concerns raised at the meeting included those surrounding the National Grid connections, the details of which are still to be announced, but are expected to result in a line of pylons cutting across the district.

Councillor Colin Davie, speaking at the meeting, said: “If this substation comes there will be wind farms onshore all over the place because they will then have a connection to the grid.

“This is about trashing East Lindsey and I am not prepared to see that happen and I know you are not as well, we have to fight it.”

Owners of the sites on which the substation is proposed told the meeting that RWE has said it will look at obtaining Compulsory Purchase Orders for their land if necessary.

Angie Smith, who lives 200 metres from the purple zone, has been among those leading the campaign and is worried about the low frequency hum likely to be emitted from the substation.

She said: “One of my major concerns is that we are going to have noise nuisance 24 hours a day for the rest of our lives.”

She added that fighting the proposals could take several years and that the campaign needed to maintain momentum.

District councillor for Willoughby and Sloothby, Stephen Eyre encouraged residents to continue sending letters of objection to head of planning at East Lindsey District Council, David Loveday, as the council will be a statutory consultee once an application has been submitted.

RWE were invited to attend the meeting but declined and after the meeting said there was no further information available on the proposals at the present time.