Viking Invasion at Bicker Fen

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Unspoilt? The Church at the heart of Bicker village

Back in January 2013, I wrote about the problems of residents at Bicker Fen in Lincolnshire, in the Boston constituency.

Their beautiful, mysterious fenland landscape had been invaded by the curse of the wind-farm.  For three years they had to put up with massive disruption from the construction process for thirteen turbines and a sub-station, in previously unspoiled countryside.  350,000 lorry movements (yes 350,000 – this is not a misprint).  120,000 tons of rock and hard-core.  Local water-mains fractured by traffic and construction no fewer than 57 times.  The local lane turned into a swamp in wet weather, and a desert in the dry.

But at last it was over, and the residents expected some respite – despite the visual intrusion, loss of property values, incessant noise and the well-documented health impacts of wind turbines.

Respite indeed.  But it was not to be.  Now there are plans to create the terminal for the Viking interconnector link from Denmark, which involves another 150 acres of agricultural land, a new sub-station, more construction traffic, more industrialisation in a previously pristine environment, and extension of the nightmare.  The residents tell me that alternative brown-field sites have not been considered, and they criticise the operators involved for a failure of information and consultation.

As a result, they approached me and asked me to write to the Chief Executives of OfCom and the National Grid.  I have done so, in the following terms:

Dear Sir,

Viking Link/Bicker Fen

I write as an MEP representing Lincolnshire to express my concern about an issue which has been brought to my attention by worried residents in the Bicker Fen region of Lincolnshire.  These people have already had a large wind farm imposed in the teeth of their protests, and have consequently suffered all the problems of an industrialised landscape, visual intrusion, excessive lorry movements during the construction phase, and of course the well-documented health impacts of wind turbines located close to homes.

They are now horrified to find they face a new threat, from the proposed Viking Link from Denmark, which apparently is scheduled to come right through the same area – as if local residents had not suffered enough.

They express serious (and in my view wholly justified) concerns in the following areas: 

1) Visual intrusion

2) Loss of valuable agricultural land (reportedly 150 acres)

3) Alternative brownfield sites have not been selected

4) Unacceptable levels of traffic, and industrialisation of the Bicker area

5) Total lack of information or consultation before the plans were finalised.

6) Unacceptable damage to residents’ lives

7) Unacceptable cumulative industrialisation

I have no doubt that you have carefully-drafted justifications on all these points, but the residents don’t want soft soap or sophistry.  They want a genuine recognition of their views, and they want the plans changed so as to protect them from further damage.

Please let me know what you can do to take account of their concerns.

Yours sincerely 

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16 Responses to Viking Invasion at Bicker Fen

  1. Jane Davies says:

    A loss of more agricultural land is unacceptable, one day in the future someone will say “what were they thinking” when at last the light bulb will come on with the realisation that humans need to be fed and there is nowhere left on which to produce said food. I do hope your letter makes a difference Roger, but don’t hold your breath!

    To just go off topic for a moment. What happened on December 1st, did Cameron capitulate and pay the demanded money to the EU coffers?

    • Roger Helmer MEP says:

      He didn’t pay it on the day. George Osborne claimed to have reduced the amount, but it seems he merely managed to defer a payment. Basically, we gave in.

      • Jane Davies says:

        No Roger, THEY gave in, no surprise there then! Now there is a demand for £15 million for garlic tax! You really couldn’t make this up.

  2. Ref your last comment Jane, I have no doubt that it has and his previous statements “I won’t pay ” were just hot air and a pathetic attempt to be seen to be safeguarding our money to win some Brownie points.
    As far as the Bicker Fen issue is concerned, I lived in Boston for two years and know the area well and I can well understand the annoyance and frustration of the residents there as I see the spoiled landscape in Canada where these are installed and watched one burn last summer from my grandsons house in New Brunswick. As for the loss of agricultural land and the possible health issues that is obvious, not to mention the interruption of rural life during the construction period and what do we have at the end of the day ? A system that works part time only.

  3. tapestry says:

    If they were being fracked, it’s all OK, so why worry about them with turbines. How can residents be expendable to one kind of development, one which destroys the water resources of the area in perpetuity (fracking), but to be protected against another (which can be dismantled and taken away later).

    • Katie says:

      wind farms do not ensure that water contamination doesn’t take place. It has in Scotland on a very big scale. Court cases are pending because water supplies have been contaminated by wind farm development and the developers did not let the authorities know that they had had spillages which found their way into the water courses. people who think wind farms are green need to think again because they are causing great harm in China and also in the UK. Add to the vast areas of land being taken up for a measly bit of power and we have a disaster in the making. It is not just the land that the turbine sits on that is replaced by concrete but the miles of roads needed to service them. An awful lot of land lost which should be used for farming.

      • Roger Helmer MEP says:

        And if you think that’s bad, you should just see the environmental devastation in China caused by the extraction of the rare earths which are used in the construction of the turbines.

  4. Ian Terry says:

    tapestry

    Visit America and see the fields of rotting turbines standing as testimony of the stupidity of man. It is happening over here now. Smaller companies buying off of the big boys and by the time it gets to decommission time they are owned by companies of straw who just go into liquidation after getting the final two years or so of any subsidies. Nothing has been set in place over here to prevent that happening. Both Katie and Jane are correct in that it is fast coming when this island will need every acre of land to help support itself. As Russia can turn the oil and gas off so can the exporter’s that supply us with food. It is a very dangerous long term path we find ourselves on.

    • Jane Davies says:

      A slippery slope to embark on that’s for sure. To have to rely on other countries for a basic essential like food is a disaster waiting to happen. Stop this loss of agricultural land before it’s too late or the UK will be at the mercy of unscrupulous despots who will think nothing of blackmail and sky high prices in order to get what they want in decades to come. Imagine having to go cap in hand to vile creatures like Putin and his ilk. The UK must be self sufficient in essentials as much as is possible or become just another third world country……. and a star on someone else’s flag!

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