Police hold talks with Sutton Bridge gasifier protest organisers

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Police are talking to the organisers of a protest against a proposed gasifier to make sure their planned car procession on the A17 is safe for the public.

Up to 60 cars could take part in the demonstration against the plan to build the power plant on 64 acres of industrial land at Wingland, near Sutton Bridge.

The protest will go ahead at 10am on Saturday, July 26 and the route is due to take in a stretch of the A17.

Police sergeant Gareth Boxall said that, while officers want to support lawful protest, their primary aim is to maintain public safety.

He added: “It is apparent to me that a protest on the A17 at such a peak time would be unsafe and would serve to cause nothing but disruption.

“I am therefore in discussions with the organisers to ensure this event takes place safely. Any police presence on the day will be to ensure the safety of the public.”

Residents have a catalogue of concerns about the plant, including fears over fires breaking out so close to two gas fired power stations – one already built and a second planned.

And fears have been intensified following last month’s huge blaze at the UK’s biggest wood recycling plant in South Yorkshire, which makes fuel for the biomass industry. The fire at the plant burned for almost a fortnight.

Resident Shirley Giles, who won a legal victory against South Holland District Council’s decision to grant planning permission for the scheme earlier this year, claims the risk of fires has not been properly considered.

She said: “We don’t want this near two gas-fired power stations – if there is an explosion, we would get wiped out.”

Sutton Bridge Parish Council and hundreds of villagers who have signed petitions are campaigning to have the amended planning application decided at a public inquiry rather than by South Holland District Council so that all aspects at thoroughly examined.

The parish council has called an extraordinary meeting for 11.30am on Friday to debate its latest steps over the EnergyPark Sutton Bridge planning application.