Keep Sutton Bridge safe from flood risk - plea

Wind turbines like these will impact on sea defences at Sutton Bridge.
Wind turbines like these will impact on sea defences at Sutton Bridge.
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The sea defence at Sutton Bridge will have one breach instead of four if district councillors accept a new scheme from DONG Energy to bring cables ashore from wind turbines at sea.

Despite the reduced number of breaches planned, parish councillors in Sutton Bridge are keeping a close eye on the energy company’s work and insist their village must be kept safe from any flood risk.

We need to make sure that the bank is reinstated so we have no problem with the bank in the future

Parish council chairman John Grimwood

DONG, formerly known as Danish Oil and Natural Gas, plans to site 91 turbines on Race Bank, which lies 16.8 miles off Blakeney Point in Norfolk and 17.4 miles off Chapel St Leonards, north of Skegness.

Various plans have been aired to bring cables ashore, including drilling under the sea defence, which was abandoned, and lowering four sections of sea defence to bring four 220kv cables ashore.

DONG has now submitted a fresh planning application to South Holland District Council seeking consent to lower a single section of the sea defence.

The company says it needs to bring only two cables ashore and they can both go through a single lowered section.

Parish council chairman John Grimwood isn’t happy with any breaches, although he accepts putting cables through the sea bank is a better engineering solution than drilling underneath.

He said: “We need to make sure that the bank is reinstated so we have no problem with the bank in the future.”

DONG has been invited to the annual parish meeting on March 15 so residents can hear about the latest plans.

Centrica lowered two sections of the sea defence in Sutton Bridge when it carried out work on the offshore Lincs Wind Farm.

The company entered into an agreement to monitor the breaches for five years, but Coun Grimwood said the parish wants to see a ten-year monitoring agreement for the new work.

Even late last year, Centrica was under fire as Coun Grimwood said the salt marsh at Sutton Bridge still hadn’t recovered from work to bury cables.

He said this week that DONG has had two machines specially built in Holland for the work and they will be brought in by barge and approach the marsh from the seaward side to minimise potential damage.

“They will not be going up and over the bank,” he said.

He understands the landward side of the works has been completed with cables laid to Walpole St Peter.