Residents’ anger at rail substation

From left, Mick Forshaw, William Lakin, Spencer Gledhill and Kevin Beales.
From left, Mick Forshaw, William Lakin, Spencer Gledhill and Kevin Beales.

ANGRY South Kirkby residents are complaining that a huge substation has been built on land opposite their homes without any consultation.

Residents on Prospect Cottages claim that since Network Rail contractors chopped down trees to make room for the substation, which is believed to house an electrical system, they have been left with a clear view of the rail lines and passing trains.

Mark Smith, 45, said the noise from the tracks had increased dramatically since the trees were removed and that the contractors had knocked a wing mirror off a parked campervan - twice.

He said: “I have been here 22 years. We chose to live by a railway line so we put up with the noise - but the trees used to lessen the impact a lot. One of our neighbours used to look after the area at the side of the houses and it looked really nice. Now we have a huge substation with a metal fence around it and a clear view of the train tracks.

“This was carried out without any consultation. We have tried since it was installed last year to get a response from Network Rail but we are being ignored.

“Someone from the council planning department told us to start a petition - but the street only has eight houses.

“We can hardly go knocking on Downing Street with that, can we?”

William Lakin has lived directly opposite the site of the substation for 43 years.

Mr Lakin said: “I cannot leave the windows open any more because of the noise since from the substation and the trains since they cut the trees down. They should have put it farther down the road because there isn’t any homes down there.”

Concerns over wildlife have also been raised by residents.

Kevin Beales, 48, said: “We used to see bats flying around here all the time but not since the trees were chopped down. Bats are a protected species and a survey should have been done to assess the impact of removing the trees. But this was definitely not carried out.”

Mick Forshaw said: “Some people came to do work on the substation and said that the area wasn’t big enough for them to get their vehicle in. So it might even be extended further.”

Network Rail was unavailable for comment.