Councillors indicate approval of Viking Link project

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Councillors have said they would be minded to support plans for more than 40 miles of underground cables being installed in Lincolnshire as part of ambitious plans for an electricity network between the UK and Denmark.

The Viking Link is a proposed 473-mile long electricity interconnector between Bicker Fen near Boston and the substation Revsing in southern Jutland, Denmark.

Co-financed by the European Union, the £1.6 billion project is a cooperation between the National Grid and Danish company Energinet.dk, and is expected to begin operating in 2022.

Electricity would be imported to the East Coast through cables under the North Sea, arriving on the Lincolnshire coast next to Sandilands Golf Club south of Sutton on Sea.

Underground cables in rural Lincolnshire would then carry the electricity around 41 miles to a new converter station at North Ing Drove near Donington, before being connected to the existing National Grid substation at Bicker Fen.

The cables would pass through the districts of East Lindsey, North Kesteven, Boston and South Holland.

National Grid Viking Link has said that the scheme would reduce the cost of electricity and provide low carbon energy for one million households.

Planning applications were submitted to all four councils in August 2017, with Boston Borough Council considering the proposals for their area at a meeting on Tuesday, April 3.

However, councils have been instructed by Housing Secretary Sajid Javid not to grant planning permission without specific authorisation. This allows the application to be referred to him for a decision.

All members of Boston Borough Council’s Planning Committee indicated they would be minded to approve the plans if the instruction from government was lifted.

Councillor Paul Skinner, Conservative member for Fishtoft, said: “This is a comprehensive piece of work and is without doubt needed to provide energy security of supply.”

Conservative Councillor Stephen Woodliffe, representing Boston West, added: “This is an excellent project. It has my very full support.”

However, council leader Michael Cooper did raise some concerns about the amount of industrial work taking place in the Bicker area, when combining this application with the Triton Knoll wind farm.

Boston has followed South Holland District Council, who said that they would support the proposals at a meeting in February.

North Kesteven District Council and East Lindsey District Council are expected to consider the applications at meetings scheduled in upcoming months.

Stefan Pidluznyj , Local Democracy Reporting Service