November 4, 2015

Lincolnshire farmers concerned about controversial Triton Knoll wind farm cable plans

Lincolnshire Echo | November 03, 2015 |

Farmers whose land could be torn up to sink 40 miles of electric cabling for a huge wind farm off Lincolnshire’s coast have a catalogue of concerns about the plans.

The National Farmers’ Union say the proposals could lead to major drainage problems, concrete slabs in the middle of fields and soil contamination.

Cabling would link Triton Knoll wind farm with the National Grid at Bicker Fen.

Around 200 landowners could be affected by the plans by RWE Innogy and Statkraft to dig a 60m wide trench for the cables.

The NFU’s Holland representative, Gordon Corner, said members have expressed serious worries about the plans.

“All-in-all, it’s not well thought through,” he said.

“We’re talking about 63 kilometres of cabling between Anderby Creek and Bicker and a number of farms are involved.

“Our members are concerned about the affect the work may have on drainage systems. The whole issue with the Fens is about water – a lot of the land is sat on water meaning any disturbance will have a serious impact.

“They are also worried that the links in the cabling are at 1,000 metres and 600 metres and need to be at the edge of fields to stay out of the way. But it now appears that these slabs of concrete could be in the middle of fields, and that won’t help drainage either.”

Mr Corner said the union is concerned about what it calls an apparent lack of a restoration plan after the wind farm stops operating.

Cabling could also affect GPS – vital to farmers operating heavy machinery like tractors and combine harvesters – and there were questions about the potential impact on insurance too.

RWE Innogy were unavailable for comment, but a spokesperson told the BBC that it does not anticipate any problems with drainage on farmland as a result of the cable work and would pay if any damage is caused.

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