County Durham developer Banks Renewables, part of the Banks Group, recently commenced a public engagement programme around the proposed Bankfield scheme, which would be situated on agricultural land on the northern side of the A171.
The company recently held an initial public exhibition about the scheme in Guisborough, in order to provide local people with outline details of the proposed scheme and to gather feedback about it.
As part of this, posters were displayed highlighting how much carbon dioxide would be released into the atmosphere if a traditional fossil fuel-powered means of electricity generation were to be used to produce the same amount of energy as the wind farm would produce, and also how many houses could have their annual electricity needs met through the energy produced by the wind farm.
However, incorrect figures were inadvertently used in the poster, and Banks has now moved to ensure that the actual numbers are communicated clearly to local people.
The actual annual figure for the amount of carbon dioxide that would not be released into the atmosphere is 16,800 tonnes, while the wind farm would actually produce enough renewable energy to meet the annual electricity consumption requirements of up to 9,700 homes.
Phil Dyke, development director at Banks Renewables, says: “This is a genuine error that we’ve acted to rectify as soon as we were made aware of it, it shouldn’t have happened and we apologise for any confusion or concerns it has caused.
“We’ve reviewed and confirmed that all the information on our website about the Bankfield project is accurate and comprehensive, but if anyone has any remaining queries about any part of it, we would be happy to discuss them.”
The Bankfield scheme is in the earliest stages of development and detailed proposals are still some way away, but it is expected to encompass up six turbines with a maximum tip height of 125m.
The landscape of the proposed site has been identified as the most suitable in the local area for renewable energy schemes of this type, and if the plans are approved, it would be the first renewable energy generation scheme of its type in the Redcar & Cleveland Borough Council area.
The feedback and ideas gathered from visitors to the public exhibition is now being used to assist with the ongoing design development process, and an extensive programme of public engagement activities will be undertaken over the coming months to ensure local people have every opportunity to find out about and comment on what Banks is proposing.
Phil Dyke, development director at Banks Renewables, says: “As well as generating significant amounts of renewable energy, which would make a major contribution towards the local authority’s renewables targets, the Bankfield Wind Farm would also bring a range of other benefits to the local area, from new jobs and commercial opportunities for local businesses through to funding for a range community improvements.
“We are confident that we will be able to design a scheme that is both environmentally acceptable to local communities and capable of producing significant amounts of renewable energy, and will work closely with all interested parties around the forthcoming development of detailed proposals.”
Up to 40 jobs would be created through the construction of the wind farm, and local businesses would be able to tender for contracts worth around £3m relating to the construction of the wind farm, as well as other aspects of its development such as accommodation, catering and security.
A substantial community benefits package would also run alongside the wind farm if it is approved, which would enable Banks to deliver a range of community and environmental improvements in partnership with local people, and the developer is keen to hear local people’s views at the exhibition about the sorts of projects they might like to see supported by this fund.
A planning application is expected to be submitted before the end of the year. Anyone who would like any further information about the proposed Bankfield scheme should contact the Banks Renewables’ community engagement team on 0844 209 1515 (local rate call) or via email@example.com