Council starts its legal fight against gasifier

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Councillors in Sutton Bridge are taking free legal advice to see if they can win a court battle to stop a £200 million gasifier being built at Wingland.

The parish council believes South Holland’s planning committee failed to take a string of key issues into account when it granted consent to EnergyPark Sutton Bridge.

Parish councillors heard on Tuesday that four law firms had given quotes for the legal battle, which could cost an estimated £8,600.

London firm Deighton Pierce Glynn have offered an initial four hours’ free legal advice and the parish council appointed three of its members to see its lawyers to assess their case.

Councillors Vicky Hills, Gary Croxford and Shirley Giles will report back to the parish council – most likely at an extraordinary meeting – before members vote on whether to press ahead.

Councillors recently set aside a £10,000 fighting fund to help them overturn the planning committee’s decision, but clerk Suzanne England warned then that the parish council may end up paying the district’s costs, which could be up to £60,000.

On Tuesday, members learned legal steps can be taken to minimise the risk of a big costs payout.

Coun Michael Booth was not present when the fighting fund was set up and voiced concerns at this week’s meeting, saying he would not support anything that could put the parish council into “financial difficulties”.