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Gasifier protest at Sutton Bridge

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More than 60 cars, trucks and motorbikes joined a noisy protest in Sutton Bridge on Saturday as villagers took their protest at a planned biomass power station to the street.

The sound of car horns and air horns filled the air in the mass demonstration, which saw drivers twice looping around the A17 roundabout at the foot of Cross Keys Bridge, along Bridge Road and normally quiet residential streets.

The slow-moving “parade” was led by Wingland resident Kevin Wheeler, on a three-wheeled motorbike, with the Vicar of Sutton Bridge, the Rev David Oxtoby, riding pillion.

Adults and young children with placards stood on a grass verge at the foot of the swing bridge and along Bridge Road as they protested against the planned power plant they have dubbed the “cancinerator” because of fears over possible pollution risks.

At the end of the demonstration, protesters gathered outside the Bridge Road home of county, district and parish councillor Chris Brewis to urge him to support their campaign, but he was not at home.

Organisers The Wash and Sutton Bridge Protection Group had threatened to gridlock the A17 but scaled down their protest following talks with police.

It passed off with minimal disruption to A17 traffic – although scores of drivers passing through sounded their horns in support of the protest.

Among the placards was a huge one thanking drivers passing through for their patience.

Wash and Sutton Bridge Protection Group chairman Colin Blundell said: “There will be other demonstrations in Sutton Bridge and Spalding. We are very pleased with the support we have had today.”

Police were stationed near Cross Keys Bridge and along Bridge Road.

It’s understood they received only one complaint and that was about noise.

Shirley Giles, 74, the great-grandmother who earlier this year scuppered planning consent for the gasifier by taking South Holland District Council to the High Court, held a one-woman protest – by crossing and re-crossing a zebra crossing in Bridge Road to hold up traffic.

EnergyPark Sutton Bridge has submitted amended plans for the gasifier but the parish council, nearly 1,000 residents and South Holland and The Deepings MP John Hayes want the verdict on the application to be decided at a public inquiry rather than by South Holland District Council.

Mrs Giles is threatening to go back to the court if South Holland District Council passes the plans for a second time.

Kevin Wheeler retired to Chalk Lane at Wingland thinking he would enjoy Lincolnshire’s “peace and quiet” – but now he faces the prospect of looking out of his kitchen window and seeing a massive power plant just 300 metres away.

He said: “It will be devastating – it will devastate our lives.”

His wife, Stephanie, said: “We will be looking straight at the loading bay, which will have lights 24/7.”

 
 
 

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