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Planning Permission Granted for National Grid’s Viking Link Interconnector Project

Michael Humphries QC
Rebecca Clutten

Planning permission has been granted for National Grid’s Viking Link Interconnector Project following a successful appeal against an earlier refusal by East Lindsey District Council (‘ELDC’).

ELDC had initially refused permission for the project, which will provide 1.4GW of electrical interconnection capacity between the UK and Denmark capable of powering up to 1 million homes, because of concerns about the impacts of construction of the necessary underground cables on the Lincolnshire Wolds Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty and on local farming businesses, although by the time of the inquiry in November 2018 they had entered into a Statement of Common Ground with National Grid Viking Link (‘NGVL’) acknowledging that those concerns had been overcome.

The inquiry proceeded to consider objections from landowners, business and other local interested parties, but by decision letter dated 12 December 2018, the Secretary of State allowed the appeal, concluding that there was an urgent and essential need for the project in the national interest, and no clearly preferable alternative route to that selected by NGVL. Harm to the AONB was regarded as being short-lived, and all other effects were capable of being adequately mitigated through the design of the scheme and by condition.

Following the grant of permission for the ELDC section of the route, the project now has in place all planning consents necessary to enable the scheme to be built.

Michael Humphries QC and Rebecca Clutten acted for NGVL, instructed by Eversheds Sutherland.