November 7, 2018 10.02 am This story is over 36 months old

Campaigners call for “alternative route” for Viking Link

They want planners to rethink the route

Objectors have used a planning inquiry into the Viking Link to urge organisers to rethink their route through the Lincolnshire Wolds.

Campaigners highlighted fears that the construction of the 473-mile cable, which leads from Bicker Fen, near Boston, to Revsing, in Southern Jutland, Denmark, would damage the area of natural beauty and put visitors off coming.

During the afternoon session Stephen Jack from the Lincolnshire Wolds Countryside Service, said the chosen route had “always been our least favourite option”.

“We continue to remain concerned that the route cuts through the area of natural beauty when there are alternative routes available,” he said.

The proposed underground cabling route for the Viking Link project

Parish councillor Richard Moody also raises fears the work would split the three villages of East Keal, West Keal and Keal Cotes, which he said formed one community, by “tri-secting” them.

“Many of the local residents consider their views, their countryside, to be their property,” he said.

He added concerns that the construction would “sterilising future development between the communities”, preventing any building to take place there.

Will Grover, ELDC councillor for Hagworthingham Ward called the Lincolnshire Wolds the “jewel in the crown” of Lincolnshire.

“Quite simply I do not believe NGVL should be allowed to tear through The Wolds, regardless of how temporarily,” he said, adding that he believed the project was “not sustainable”.

However Landscape expert Colin Goodrum said: “The amount of physical changes to hedgerows etc is quite small. It’s arable farmland and very dramatic landscape with big machines operating on it already. There’s a narrow corridor localised extend and I considerate to be a low magnitude effect. Leads to a minor adverse effect in character terms.”

He added: “This vision of a 30 metre corridor swathing through the landscape is a worst case scenario.”

Michael Humphries QC counsel for National Grid Viking Link.

QC Michael Humphries, who represents National Grid Viking Link also pointed out that objectors had not provided their own assessments with evidence of their alleged impacts.

He added that other companies such as Northern Power and Western Power has carried out millions of pounds of underground work across tens of kilometres of the Wolds already.

The inquiry into a planned new underground electricity cable through the Lincolnshire Wolds has opened on Tuesday by planning inspector John Felgate.

National Grid Viking Link is looking to build a 473-mile long electricity inter-connector between Bicker Fen near Boston and the substation Revsing in southern Jutland, Denmark. – enabling the import of high-voltage electricity.

The plan is to pass under the North Sea, arriving on the Lincolnshire coast next to Sandilands Golf Club south of Sutton on Sea in East Lindsey.

Underground cables passing through the districts of East Lindsey, Boston, North Kesteven and South Holland would carry the electricity around 41 miles to a new converter station before it is connected to the existing National Grid substation.

However, the application was forced to inquiry after East Lindsey District Council refused permission, fearing the impact upon farming and the landscaping.

North Kesteven District, Boston Borough and South Holland District Councils all granted permission.

ELDC has since refused to defend its decision and now supports the plans, upsetting campaigners who believe the authority should fight the plans in full.

The inquiry continues with further evidence from NGVL representatives today  (Wednesday, November 7).

SUBSCRIBE TO LOCAL DEMOCRACY WEEKLY, our exclusive email newsletter with highlights from coverage every week, as well as insights and analysis from our local democracy reporters.

Spotted an error? Please notify us by selecting that text and pressing Ctrl+Enter.