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Sutton Bridge power plant fight could go to court

Great-granny Shirley Giles is on a working party trying to overturn Government consent for a second power station at Sutton Bridge.
Great-granny Shirley Giles is on a working party trying to overturn Government consent for a second power station at Sutton Bridge.

Residents of Sutton Bridge are looking for legal grounds to overturn Government consent for a massive power station on the banks of the River Nene.

Former parish councillor Shirley Giles, the great-granny who used her own cash to go to the High Court to stop a wood-burning power station from being built on land at Wingland, is a member of a working party set up to defeat the 1800MW EDF B.

Formed by Sutton Bridge Parish Council, the working party includes council chairman John Grimwood and members and was due to meet yesterday.

Mrs Giles said: “I am hoping we can do the same as last time – get a judicial review and get it thrown out.”

Former parish councillor Jenny Rowe has also joined the working party and says: “What we hope to do is put something together for the solicitor and, hopefully, the parish council will look at a judicial review.”

The parish council and working party hope to win more public backing at a meeting in The Curlew Centre next Tuesday, October 13.

Colin Blundell, who chairs The Wash and Sutton Bridge Protection Group, says 98 per cent of residents who took part in a parish poll were against the wood-burning power station and EDF B.

If built, EDF B will have three chimneys – one more than the current power station, which it will dwarf.

Mr Blundell says the main issues with EDF B include:

• It will be sited in a flood plain, which is against Government guidelines

• It will go on grade 1 agricultural land and there’s no evidence brownfield sites were looked at

• There is no evidence conditions imposed on EDF B will be properly monitored

• The current submission is out of date because the 1800MW power station was piggy-backed onto a 2005 plan for a 1200MW plant

• There is no evidence of an assessment of combined emissions for the area

Mr Blundell says there is “a great lack of clarity” in the EDF application with much left still to be decided, such as the key question on whether it will be air or water cooled.

Campaigners say water from the power station would be too hot to be discharged into the Nene and, if it were discharged into the river, it could harm The Wash, a world-renowned and protected conservation area.

South Holland and The Deepings MP John Hayes has already pledged his support to villagers fighting the plan and repeated his concern about a multi-million-pound plant going alongside the Nene after the riverbanks were almost overtopped by the December 2013 tidal surge.

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