Wind farm opponents fear a new electrical infrastructure project serving East Lindsey’s growing legions of turbines will decimate the landscape with pylons.
Western Power Distribution’s plans to create a Low Carbon Hub would see a circuit of power lines linking Skegness, Alford, Mablethorpe, Chapel St Leonards and Ingoldmells to distribute the electricity produced by local renewable projects.
Opponents to the scheme, which is due for completion next year, say it will further industrialise the local landscape and encourage yet more wind farm projects in a region they claim to be already saturated.
“If this goes through, the whole area is going to be industrialised,” said Melvin Grosvenor of the Marsh Wind Farm Action Group.
“Where we have open countryside it will just become flooded with pylons.”
Western Power Distribution said it had received a ‘high volume’ of enquiries from renewable developers in this region, making it an ideal location for the project.
Currently, the electrical infrastructure around Skegness is reported to be limited in how much power generation it can connect.
The Low Carbon Hub would ‘manage these constraints’ allowing the network to handle enough additional renewable generation to power 40,000 homes.
Mr Grosvenor fears this additional capacity will attract more wind farm applications for the region served by the Low Carbon Hub..
He believes Energie Kontor’s proposals to build four 115 metre turbines at Asserby, near Alford is one such project, which he describes as ‘development by stealth’ and part of a ‘wider onslaught’ against Lincolnshire.
MWAG will be outlining the proposals to concerned residents at a meeting in Grimoldby Village Hall this Friday from 7pm.
Lincolnshire County Council’s ward holder for Ingoldmells Rural Coun Colin Davie has also expressed his concerns about the Low Carbon hub and its possible impact on the landscape.
“I’m gravely concerned that the electricity industry is targeting Lincolnshire and is deliberately aiming to trash our natural environment in the pursuit of even bigger profits,” he said.
“The county council’s position is that we don’t support over ground options for any new infrastructure.”
Richard Hind, project manager for Energie Kontor UK, said: “We have submitted a scoping report to the local authority for consideration of a site south of Asserby which would consist of four wind turbines up to 115m to tip.
“The local authority will examine the submitted report and identify what studies and surveys will be required to fully assess the location.
“The scoping report is not an application for a wind farm, it is an initial consideration of what studies will be required to assess a location so that the applicant and local authority are in general agreement of the range, intensity and “scope” of study to be undertaken.
“Local people have raised the issue of landscape and proximity of other wind farms in the area, the Environmental Assessment will consider these concerns in detail.
“When the assessment has been completed we will display information to members of the public to receive further comments.”
Michael Clarke, of Western Power Distribution, added: “As the electricity distributor for Lincolnshire, we are committed to serving our customers and have a duty to provide connections to anyone who wants them and meet the electricity demands of the area for years to come.
“The Lincolnshire Low Carbon Hub is one of our innovative projects worth £3.5 million, aiming to achieve this more efficiently by creating a smarter electricity distribution network.
“We recognise our role in developing a sustainable electricity network for the next generation. This project supports all types of low carbon generation, not only wind turbines but others such as solar panels, significantly reducing the need to build new overhead lines and installing new underground cables.
“This will lower the level of disruption and road works in the future, by using our existing infrastructure to work smarter and harder.
“This project will also help to improve the reliability of local customers’ electricity supplies through better network communication, meaning it is subject to fewer and shorter power cuts.”