Village to stage a poll over proposed power plants in Sutton Bridge

The site of the proposed power plants near Sutton Bridge. Picture: Matthew Usher. The site of the proposed power plants near Sutton Bridge. Picture: Matthew Usher.

Wednesday, August 20, 2014
10:18 AM

People living near a site of a proposed £300 million power plant in the Fens will today go to the polls to have their say on the controversial scheme.

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The plans would see 80-metre high chimneys built at the 13-acre site and protesters fear it would bring 20 lorries an hour to the rural location.

Sutton Bridge Parish Council is holding the poll at the Curlew Centre in the village from 4pm to 9pm.

Visitors will have the chance to decide whether their community calls for a public inquiry into the energy park.

The question which will be put forward to voters is “Do you want the Secretary of State to call a Public Inquiry into the proposed ‘Energy Park Sutton Bridge’ gasifier incinerator and the ‘EDF B’ gas power station in the Parish of Sutton Bridge?”

If a yes vote is carried, the council will then formally ask Energy and Climate Change Secretary, Edward Davey, for a public inquiry.

Parish councillor Shirley Giles said she hopes that many villagers will turn up and vote yes.

She said: “I’m really positive about the poll - we haven’t got any time for negativity. I know there is an industrial site in Sutton Bridge, but the village is much too small for it.”

The gasifier - which produces gas from heating wood - and second power station, have been proposed for 13 acres of land close to the village’s existing power station, close to the A17.

Villagers fear the scheme would increase traffic - with up to six 20 tonne lorries per hour going to and from the six.

Parish council chairman John Grimwood said: “Although it is an industrial site, it is not the right thing.

“The biggest concern for residents is pollution, for it is detrimental to people’s health.”

The proposed site is south-east of Sutton Bridge, which has a community of around 4,000 residents.

It is close to a nearby residential area and lays between an industrial estate and Sutton Bridge Power Station which has been operational since 1999.

It is expected that the plant would require 420,000 tonnes of material delivered by an estimated 65 lorries per day.

South Holland MP John Hayes has said that he remains “concerned” about this proposal. In a letter to Communities Secretary Eric Pickles he said the plant should not be situated next to a river.

Tim Knight from Energy Park Sutton Bridge said that they are committed to delivering the project.

He said: “Throughout the planning process, we have worked closely with the local community, and amended our plans in line with their feedback.

“The Energy Park will be subject to the very strictest controls from the Environment Agency. The Energy Park will have a positive impact on the local economy, in an area allocated for industrial development, substantial job creation, and green energy for 66,000 homes, powered by wood from sustainable sources.

“We look forward to continuing to work with the local community to bring the Energy Park to fruition.”

What do you think about the proposed plans? Email natalie.copeland@archant.co.uk?

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