East Lindsey

Local Democracy Weekly: Viking Link or Viking sink?

It’s been fairly obvious since East Lindsey District Council decided not to stand by its refusal of the Viking Link in September that the odds have been stacked against objectors.

It was telling when, on the second day of evidence, the public gallery was noticeably emptier, that interest had waned.

Despite the concerted efforts of a local parish councillor, a land-owner with tourism business intentions and a representative overseeing the Lincolnshires Wolds’ management, it was clear National Grid had come prepared, with a team of no fewer than 13 people sat around the tables passing notes and feeding in.


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Really, it comes down to the planning inspector balancing the local concerns with the national need for energy.

National Grid’s representatives opened the inquiry with a strong statement of how vital the link was for the UK’s sustainable energy plans, and how its refusal could compromise that.

East Lindsey District Council’s representation was almost superfluous, mainly confirming the authority’s change of heart back in September, discussing a Statement of Common Ground with National Grid and approving conditions.

The main arguments centred around the work’s effect on the Wolds, damage not just physically, but in the longer-term both to reputation and the impact on communities near the construction.

However, National Grid had an answer to everything.

It had a 46-page conclusion presented by Michael Humphries QC – saying that works would be temporary, that restoration would put it back as was, or replace anything damaged.

There were even some concessions, with one planned compound down-graded to a temporary working area, while comprehensive documentation demonstrated why alternative routes were not deemed suitable.

And now? Now it’s a waiting game as the inspector examines the plans and evidence given in detail before making his decision.

Both sides will be waiting with fingers crossed to see if the switch is turned on.


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