Sutton Bridge protest may gridlock A17

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A slow-moving parade of tractors, cars, and bikes will gridlock the A17 at Sutton Bridge tomorrow in protest at plans for a biomass power station .

T he parade – starting at 10am – is organised by the Wash and Sutton Bridge Protection Group, which admits it “could result in traffic chaos and long delays for motorists”.

EnergyPark Sutton Bridge drew up amended plans for a power station after great-granny Shirley Giles, 74, scuppered planning approval for its original application by taking South Holland District Council to the High Court.

Wash group chairman Colin Blundell said: “The new application is actually worse for local residents than the old one. The amount of wood they will burn has increased from 350,000 tonnes a year to 420,000 tonnes a year. They are now proposing HGV deliveries from 7am to 11pm seven days a week.

“Local people live within 20 metres of the plant – their lives will be hell.”

Villagers have a string of objections to the plant, including the risk of air pollution from the combined impact of up to three power stations, the fire risk after huge blazes broke out involving similar wood-based biomass at plants around the country and lorries entering and leaving the site every five minutes.

Protester and parish councillor Jenny Rowe said: “In their application the developer showed pictures of an empty A17. Regular road users know that traffic congestion is already a problem – who do they think they are kidding?

“They even wanted incinerator traffic to be given priority over other road users through controlled traffic lights.

“HGVs will enter and exit the site every five minutes.The traffic delays the protest will cause will be nothing compared to 
the traffic delays if this goes ahead.”

Wash group secretary Brian Collins-McDougall described Shirley Giles as “a local hero”.

He said: “She stood up and fought for the village.

“Now we are calling on all villagers to turn out and support her.

“We will send a loud message to South Holland District Council next Saturday – ‘stop working against local people and start working for them’.”

The group says villagers are fed up with Sutton Bridge being used as “a dumping ground for unwanted industrial projects”.

Sutton Bridge already has an 817MW gas-fired power station, a proposed new EDF Sutton Bridge B 1800MW gas-fired power station and a wind farm.