VICTORY is almost in sight for the opponents of plans to build a massive 40 acre electricity substation in the heart of East Lindsey.
Following guidance from the National Grid, RWE npower renewables announced today that it had put its plans on hold and would be considering alternative sites outside the district.
The decision comes following months of opposition from councillors and members of the potentially affected communities against the energy firm’s plans.
Dedicated campaigner Angie Smith said: “I’m absolutely delighted to see that our community’s strong and sustained opposition to this proposal has prompted RWE to rethink what would have been a terrible development in any community.”
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Initially 13 potential sites were identified for the substation to convert the power generated by the Triton Knoll offshore wind farm for connection to the National Grid. Following consultation with key public bodies those sites were reduced to a short list of four locations near to Welton le Marsh, Monksthorpe, Willoghby and Great Steeping.
The National Grid has not announced where the new sites are located but suggestions have been made that it will be near Killingholme, Great Grimsby.
If the substation was built in this location it would be ideally situated to connect with existing power grids and other wind farms in the North Sea. It would also mean that the underground power cables that would have torn through the East Lindsey countryside to connect the off-shore power to the substation could be built along the coast instead.
Despite this new alternative, neither RWE nor National Grid have yet ruled out the sites in East Lindsey.
Dr John Yeadon lives between two of the short-listed sites near to Welton le Marsh and his house falls on one of the proposed access routes.
He is keen to ensure local communities are not lulled into a false sense of security with these announcements,
“I’m not convinced the battle is won until it is won.” he said. “I am prepared to chain my wheelchair to the bulldozers if necessary.”
In conjunction with local councils, opposition groups collated large bodies of evidence to identify the negative impact that would have been brought about if a substation was built in any of the short-listed sites.
In addition to the adverse affect on the regions vital tourism industry and areas of outstanding national beauty, potential flood risks were also cited as reasons to oppose the substation.
Coun Colin Davie said: “This is the result of local communities working together on issues that matter to them and that is what localism is all about.
“The county council has opposed this application from the very beginning and I will remain vigilant until we are given cast iron assurances that this proposal will never see the light of day.
“I congratulate everyone.”
Triton Knoll development manager Jacon Hain said: “We feel it is right to put our... work on hold until the National Grid can confirm whether the connection point for our scheme still lies within East Lindsey or moves elsewhere.