Council steered £300m power station developer towards Sutton Bridge

PUBLIC MEETING: Chalk Lane resident Kevin Wheeler (front, third left) whose home is close to the biomass site.
PUBLIC MEETING: Chalk Lane resident Kevin Wheeler (front, third left) whose home is close to the biomass site.
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Developers of a £300million biomass plant say they were told by South Holland District Council to build on a 64-acre site at Wingland Enterprise Park.

The revelation came as 130 residents of Sutton Bridge packed The Curlew Centre on Tuesday night to raise concerns about the choice of the village for the massive power plant, particularly emissions from its five active chimneys, pollution from hundreds of extra lorries and added pressure on the already busy A17.

The meeting ended with a vote – supported by all but four people – to ask the district council to commission a completely independent environmental impact assessment and to make that publicly available before a decision on planning consent is made.

Developers Green Energy Parks (GEP), who have commissioned a similar plant in Peterborough, said they would support any independent report.

And GEP managing director Chris Williams suggested Sutton Bridge residents could tap into the environmental expertise of King’s Lynn residents who are fighting plans for an incinerator in their area.

EnergyPark Sutton Bridge project manager Helen Rome said GEP’s own environmental assessment had cost in excess of £200,000 but GEP “would absolutely encourage” residents to ask the council for an independent report.

One member of the public asked: “Why Sutton Bridge?”

And parish councillor Gary Croxford said: “There’s lots of sites around Spalding.”

Ms Rome said South Holland’s economic development department “actually guided us to Sutton Bridge” because the land is earmarked for industrial use.