Legal query over Sutton Bridge power plant dispute

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A district councillor is taking legal advice to see if he can back an official complaint against his own council’s handling of two power station applications.

Parish councillor Shirley Giles is reporting South Holland District Council to the local government watchdog, the Ombudsman, over issues relating to the EnergyPark Sutton Bridge application for a wood-burning gasifier and the EDF B gas-fired power station.

She formally complained to council chief executive Anna Graves, but the response from executive director Julie Kennealy has won her new support.

District and parish councillor Michael Booth says he’s ready to back the whole of Mrs Giles’ complaint because there are so many issues that need addressing. He’s now taking legal advice to see if he can do that.

Parish councillors were particularly angered when Mrs Kennealy said she was “satisfied that matters were dealt with appropriately” when a public speaker, Nina Wells, was denied the chance to speak on the EDF plan at the August 27 meeting after first being given consent.

Parish and district councillor Chris Brewis told the parish authority: “I am absolutely stunned by that”, adding that the vote in EDF’s favour could have been swayed had Mrs Wells been allowed to speak.

Mrs Giles said: “I don’t mind if Michael jumps on my bandwagon because it puts more power to it. I was really disappointed with the council response.”