Time running out to have your say on pylon proposals for Lincolnshire

The National Grid has said it ‘will carefully consider feedback’ as the consultation on proposals to put pylons across the coastal section of Lincolnshire comes to an end.
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More than 4,300 pieces of feedback have been received since the ‘early-stage’ consultation began in January, according to the energy company.

This is more than than the response to a consultation on Devolution proposals for the whole of Greater Lincolnshire, which saw 4,101 responses.

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National Grid is proposing a £1billion plan to build a new 90-mile high voltage electricity transmission line ‘Grimsby to Walpole’ which they say is essential to increase the capability of Britain’s electricity transmission network in Lincolnshire, Cambridgeshire, and West Norfolk.

Coun Colin Davie near a site in Burgh le Marsh earmarked for pylons.Coun Colin Davie near a site in Burgh le Marsh earmarked for pylons.
Coun Colin Davie near a site in Burgh le Marsh earmarked for pylons.

Eleven public consulation events regarding this were held across Lincolnshire at which there were 2976 attendees.

There were fewer people engaging online, with just 175 attendees across the eight webinars.According to the National Grid, the breakdown of feedback so far is 3,200 emails, 140 hard copy forms, 400 letters and 600 online forms.

Ben Muncey, Project Director for National Grid said: “The Grimsby to Walpole public consultations have generated a lot of interest, with nearly 3000 people attending in person events, and more than 4300 pieces of feedback received from local people so far.

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"We are very grateful to the local community and stakeholders who have shared their views with us.

"We will carefully consider their feedback as we continue to shape our proposals, before holding a further consultation next year.”

With just a few hours to go before the end of the consultation (March 13) local councillors have been urging the public to take the time to have their say.

At a meeting last week, Lincolnshire County Council’s executive agreed to put in a formal objection to the scheme that would see 140km of high voltage electricity cables, pylons and substations run through the county from Grimsby to Walpole in Norfolk.

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The No Pylons Lincolnshire group has also informed us they have submitted a ‘powerful response on behalf of its thousands of supporters’ to National Grid opposing proposals.

They claim more than 2,000 others have opposed the proposals but these were not included in the National Grid statistics as they had not requested a response,

In addition to the formal objection. LCC says an independent analysis is also being commissioned to look at the impacts the pylons could have on Lincolnshire, including putting farmland out of use, the visual impact on the landscape, the effect on tourism and air traffic limitations.

Coun Martin Hill, leader of the county council said: “The council’s view is that National Grid have dismissed a valid alternative of putting the cables on the seabed, and instead plan to blight our landscape and affect our countryside and coastal communities for generations to come. We are keen to take urgent action to get all the information about the options. If necessary, we will take legal action to challenge the reasoning that this infrastructure is the best solution.”

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Coun Colin Davie, executive councillor for environment and economy, said what the National Grid feedback statistics did not show was how much of the feedback was against the proposals.

He said: “Only this week we know hundreds of postcards against the pylons have been sent in.

"Already when you look at the statistics there has been far more response than to the Devolution consultation which affects the whole of Greater Lincolnshire and not just the coastal strip.

"We know there is much opposition to this plan across the whole of the affected area.

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"It simply makes no sense that electricity generated in Scotland can be transported to Grimsby via offshore cables, to then come on shore through Lincolnshire taking power to the south of England.

"Once again, our beautiful county is being seen as a dumping ground for large scale energy infrastructure of no benefit to us, but that will have considerable negative impacts on our residents.”

In addition to council opposition, No Pylons Lincolnshire is also challenging the consultation process itself and claims the proposals show no understanding of the significant adverse impacts pylons would have on the landscape, environment, heritage, businesses or quality of life of the communities affected.

The presentation of costings and the consideration of alternative approaches, as presented by National Grid, was also questioned, with claims it ignores ‘all costs other than the capital cost of the proposed works’.

Fill in the consultation form here.