WIND-FARM developers have been accused of ‘fooling the public’ by separating their offshore turbine application from the controversial substation plans associated with the development.
RWE npower renwables is progressing its plans to develop the Triton Knoll wind-farm, 33 kilometres off the Lincolnshire coast, separately from the heavily opposed application to build a substation connecting it with the National Grid.
Plans to build the 40 acre substation at one of four proposed locations in the East Lindsey countryside were put on hold after a barrage of opposition from potentially affected residents and local councillors.
Coun Colin Davie, a vocal force in the previous campaigns against the substation, has condemned RWE’s latest decision.
He said: “It’s better for all parties that the application for the substation, pylons and offshore wind farm be kept as one so that we can judge the impact of the whole proposal together.
“I personally think RWE is fooling the public in this whole process - they have a duty to properly consult the public but in my view this will not allow the wider community to have their say.”
“We all have to remain continually vigilant until RWE confirm in writing that they will not proceed with any proposal for a substation in the East Lindsey area.”
Coun Davie and other opponents have repeatedly expressed their fears at the impact a substation of such enormity would have on an otherwise unspoilt area of Lincolnshire countryside. Associated flood risks, environmental factors and adverse effects on wildlife were also cited as reasons not to progress with a substation at any of the proposed sites within the East Lindsey region.
Additional fears regarding the impact a network of pylons would have on an even larger area of countryside were also raised when it became apparent that the substation would need to be connected with the National Grid.
RWE have explained the decision as a response to National Grid undertaking a review of the wind farm’s onshore connection.
As such a review is expected to take a significant amount of time RWE felt it should be considered separately from the offshore plans.
Triton Knoll project manager Jacob Hain said: “As a responsible developer, we feel it is the right decision to separate the Triton Knoll project into two packages to ensure all possible options for the electrical system are thoroughly investigated.”