Information received from Npower re Triton Knoll Substation

We have worked with National Grid over the course of the last year on the strategic review. National Grid have now issued us an offer for connection of Triton Knoll Offshore Wind Farm to the existing electricity transmission network at a substation at Bicker Fen, south west of Boston, Lincolnshire. This revised offer assumes that there would be an underground direct current (DC) connection installed between Bicker Fen substation and Triton Knoll Offshore Wind Farm.

Next steps

We will work alongside National Grid  and undertake further technical and design studies to understand what the electrical system will comprise. It is likely  to include an electrical substation in the vicinity of Bicker Fen and cables which link the wind farm to the substation. We will also commence environmental and engineering studies to find the  best potential sites and routes for the electrical infrastructure. We will consult with statutory bodies such as the Environment Agency, Natural England and relevant local authority departments. Our assessments will consider environmental factors such as flood risk, noise and landscape as well as other factors such as land ownership and existing land use. It is anticipated that the findings of these studies will be available during 2012. Once we have evaluated the different options, we will carry out consultation with public bodies and local communities. We will then use the results of this consultation to inform our final planning application for the electrical system.

 

It begins to look hopeful that the huge Substation will not be built next door to the chapel!    Bryan Keyworth

 

This is a copy of the letter I sent earlier to Npower Renewables on behalf of the Friends of Monksthorpe

25th September 2010-09-25

Proposed RWE/Triton Knoll Sub Station

with special reference to the Orange Zone

Monksthorpe Chapel

Comments regarding facts and information I trust will be taken into consideration while seeking to decide on the Site of your proposed Sub Station.

Sirs,

A substation at the site next to the Monksthorpe Baptist Chapel will have a great detrimental effect on the Chapel and the surrounding area.

The chapel was built at its location in 1701 when persecution of dissenting Protestants was deemed to be easing through the declaration of the Toleration Act. This site was chosen, as during the period 1650 to 1700 a congregation of Baptist dissenters had worshipped in secret in the fields adjoining the site. In the 17th Century, to worship without accepting the authority of the Anglican Prayer Book was looked on as being close to treason!

Therefore the chapel has a great historical significance and has been declared a Grade 2* Listed Building. Within its grounds is an open air Baptistry ( one of only two in the country ) which has also a Grade 2* Listing, separately to the chapel.

Thus the chapel and its curtilage are of great importance which is why they have been taken under the care of the National Trust. It is, however, not just another important historical building owned by the National Trust, it is kept open as an active Church with services held throughout the summer months, and one in December for the Carol Service.

The services are held in the summer, as in keeping with its character there is no electricity to the building and therefore no lighting, as the chapel is kept as it was before the advent of electricity. From that aspect alone I would argue strongly that a substation adjacent to it is a complete anomaly and an offence to the lives and commitment of the early Baptists who stood against the King and the authorities to plead for freedom of worship.

When RAF Spilsby was constructed during the last war, the airfield was built around the chapel on three sides. The need for an airfield was urgent but it was deemed vital not to destroy the chapel due to its historical importance. There was also the knowledge that the airfield would only be needed for the duration of the war.

During World War 2, young men gave their lives as they flew from RAF Spilsby, adjacent to the chapel, also in order to fight for freedom for this nation. Ten of those young men were killed in an accident at the Fusing Shed close to the Bomb Dump at 8pm on the 10th April 1944, three of them with no known grave as their bodies were fragmented by the explosion. This gives rise to the area being designated as a War Grave and should not be desecrated by building a substation on that land.

We have an agreed permissive path between Monksthorpe Chapel and the National Trust Gunby Hall. The route is past the site of the Fusing Shed where the lives were lost. If your Substation were to be constructed on the Orange Zone, the path would be on the border of two sides of the site, people enjoying a pleasant country walk connecting the two historical sites would have the doubtful pleasure of looking at and listening to, a Substation!

We have a good congregation at our services, the smallest number present being in the higher 20’s and the higher number in the region of 100. That means the noise from the proposed sub station would be a disturbance to our well attended services. If the noise is uncomfortable it could mean a drop in attendances.

As well as our regular services we hold Flower Festivals and Craft Fairs etc. in the grounds which would suffer even more from the noise pollution.

Each year there is a Memorial Thanksgiving in the grounds at the Memorial to those who fought on D Day and the following weeks in 1944. This is attended by many Normandy Veterans and their families who come to pay their respects to fallen comrades in the peace of the Monksthorpe Chapel grounds.

There is also an annual Remembrance Service at the Memorial to commemorate and honour those ten Airmen of 207 Squadron who died in the accident at the Bomb Dump. Remembering at the same time those who served and flew from R A F Spilsby. – 599 airmen of 207 and 44 Squadrons lost their lives while serving at R A F Spilsby.

The Chapel Grounds are still used for the burial of Cremated Remains and I have two bookings for future Weddings at The Chapel, all of which will be adversely affected by the Substation.

Many people come to visit Monksthorpe Chapel, to reflect on the past generations and to honour the memories of previous worshippers here.

These include a lady from just outside Chicago in the USA whose ancestors lived in the farm next door and who emigrated in the difficult days of the early 1800’s. A Baptist Minister visited from Auckland, New Zealand, his ancestors were from Orby Manor, just a couple of miles away, they were at the foundation of the chapel in 1701. Others have come from Texas and the West Coast of America. In many ways you can see how this chapel is of International importance.

We have been featured on Songs of Praise which was also broadcast in Australia.

In the immediate area surrounding the chapel, Barn Owls, Tawny Owls, Little Owls, Kestrels, Woodcock, Grey Partridge and Tree Sparrows are among the birds which nest and frequent the site. The field you have identified as the Orange Zone also is home to a large number of Brown Hares.

I submit that from these few facts and thoughts alone, it would be an act of wanton vandalism and sacrilege to destroy the peace and history of this important site of our culture and heritage.

The chapel and its surrounds are a very special place and are thought as such by the many people who use and visit it each year, just as it has been special and of historical importance throughout its life since being built in 1701.

This submission has been seen and is supported by Mr J Grant, owner of the Orange Zone farm land.

Rev Bryan Keyworth

Minister of Monksthorpe Baptist Church and Secretary of the ‘Friends of Monksthorpe’

WebSite: www.monksthorpe.com Email: bryan@monksthorpe.com