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:
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.