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“Lincolnshire is not going to be a dumping ground for the power demands of London!” County council stands firm amidst proposed infrastructure projects

With multiple major infrastructure projects planned across Lincolnshire, from pylons, to underground cables and solar megafarms, Lincolnshire County Council promised it will stand firm in protecting the county’s landscape and tourism sector.

In January, National Grid announced plans to build a 140km line of towering 50m-high electricity pylons, cutting through the local countryside from Grimsby to Walpole, near Norfolk.

The project instantly sparked widespread criticism from campaigners, councillors, and even MPs, who felt it showed a “blatant disregard for the people of rural Lincolnshire” by detracting from the picturesque landscape.

Coun Colin Davie
Coun Colin Davie

Months later, National Grid unveiled separate plans for two cables to traverse 400 miles beneath the depths of the North Sea from Scotland to England, coming ashore on the Lincolnshire coast.

In May, plans surfaced for yet another set of electricity cables to be laid, this time originating from the proposed Ossian Array floating wind farm in Scotland and making landfall on the Lincolnshire coast. The cable would terminate at two grid connection points in central and southern Lincolnshire.

There are also 14 Nationally Significant Infrastructure Projects (NSIPs) applications have gone in for open countryside land in Greater Lincolnshire across the last 12 months, and councillors worry this could have a significant impact on the county’s proud agricultural sector.

During a meeting of Lincolnshire County Council’s Executive this week, Coun Colin Davie (Conservative), portfolio holder for Economic Development, Environment, and Planning, insisted that if these projects were assessed together, the Planning Inspectorate would undoubtedly reject them.

Despite discussions of potential legal action against National Grid and significant opposition to the projects, the representative for Ingoldmells Rural division fears that this could only mark the beginning of more projects yet to come.

Following the meeting, he said: “This is the first of what we think will be a number of other projects that will all end up landing here in Lincolnshire.

“There is no way that these communities along the eastern coast can tolerate this amount of infrastructure. The substation footprint is bigger than the market town of Alford. This is absolutely ridiculous.

“They need to spend some time and development money on the offshore grid proposal, which we fully support, and that will ultimately enable a plug and play around the UK, so the power can flow around and remain under the seabed and go to wherever it’s needed.”

Coun Davie added: “All of this is predicated on more growth in the south of England, and why should my soft liberal friends in South London get to drive their electric cars and travel across the beautiful south with no solar panels, no wind farms and no infrastructure, but my residents are being dumped on here in Lincolnshire. It’s a bloody disgrace.

“Lincolnshire is not going to be a dumping ground for the power demands of London. They need to sort it out. There’s no proper energy policy. It is nonsense.”

The Tory councillor later pointed out that the Lincolnshire coast, including his area of Ingoldmells, heavily relies on tourism. He expressed concerns that the additional infrastructure projects would further impede efforts to attract tourists to the area.

“The Lincolnshire coast generates approximately £800 million a year in tourism,” he continued.

“Who would want to visit a coastline surrounded by industrial infrastructure?

“We really need to start questioning who benefits from all of this. It certainly isn’t Lincolnshire and its residents.

“I’m not here to serve the national government; I’m here to ensure that the residents of Lincolnshire get the right answers to the right questions.”

A spokesperson for National Grid said: “Our three proposals in Lincolnshire are a critical part of the new electricity infrastructure required for the UK to reach net zero.

“By developing these projects, two of which will be co-located to reduce community and environmental impact, we will be able to connect new sources of low carbon energy to homes and business across Lincolnshire and beyond so that everyone has access to cleaner, more affordable electricity."

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