“Grave concerns” have been expressed over the consultation process being adopted for an electricity route for the Triton Knoll offshore wind farm.
Steve Willis, assistant director for the Environment, Planning and Customer Services at Lincolnshire County Council, has contacted RWE npower renewables about the pre-consultation approach the company is carrying out.
RWE has shortlisted three sites in the Skegness area for a compound to enable electricity from the Triton Knoll offshore wind farm located 20km off the Lincolnshire coast, to connect to the national grid.
Underground cabling will be from Anderby Creek right through to Bicker where connection to the national grid substation will take place.
RWE is currently consulting on the proposals with public events taking place next week.
In the letter on behalf of Lincolnshire County Council, Mr Willis said: “The consultation questionnaire is simply an information gathering exercise designed to use local knowledge to assist RWE in its choice of sites. There is no specific question regarding the suitability of the locations or the possibility of alternative locations elsewhere, within or without Lincolnshire.
“The consultation is presented as a fait accompli in which only site details are open to consideration and is not consistent with how a consultation should be conducted – by asking pertinent questions with alternative options.”
Lincolnshire County Councillor Colin Davie said: “No matter how many times we tell this company that their proposals are totally unwelcome in this part of Lincolnshire, they continue with their half-baked attempt to prove an unwanted scheme is acceptable.
“This supposed consultation exercise is nothing of the sort, it is a disgraceful sham and a total deceit on RWE’s part as they attempt to rig the exercise in their favour. It should be withdrawn.”
Jacob Hain, project manager for Triton Knoll offshore wind farm, said the principles of the consultation are set out in a consultation statement which was agreed with Boston Borough Council and East Lindsey District Council prior to the consultation starting.
He said: “We have already carried out a number of technical and environmental studies on the proposed electrical system to ensure that the consultation provides realistic and feasible options for bringing the renewable energy generated by Triton Knoll to the national grid.
“Carrying out a broad consultation like this, at such an early stage, we will ensure that local communities can genuinely have an influence.
“Every question within the questionnaire is designed to gather local knowledge and local view which will help to ensure that the final decision on the infrastructure location is the best one.”
He said they have already received many responses to the consultation.
Public exhibition events take place in East Lindsey next week at Anderby Village Hall on Thursday, March 7 from 3pm-7pm; Stickney Community Hall on Saturday, March 9 from 3pm- 7pm; The Royal Hotel Skegness on Sunday March 10 from 3pm-7pm and Monday March 11 from 12pm-6pm.
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