Updated wind farm plans going on show

May 5, 2011 | Community News

Updated plans for a proposed new wind farm in Teesdale are set to go on show to the public at two special exhibitions later this month.

County Durham firm Banks Renewables, part of The Banks Group, has been conducting a community consultation over the last two years around the proposed Windy Bank development, which would be situated on agricultural land between the village of Woodland and the southern edge of Hamsterley Forest.

The feedback gathered from local people and organisations during this process has been fed into the wind farm design process, and detailed proposals are now close to being finalised.

Banks is now hosting the two exhibitions to give local people the chance to see how the design has developed, and to provide further comment on them before a planning application is submitted to Durham County Council.

The first exhibition will be held between 3pm and 7pm on Wednesday 18 May at Hamsterley Village Hall, with the second one taking place between the same times on the following day at Woodland Village Hall.

The updated scheme design encompasses five turbines with a tip height of approximately 115m, and would produce up to 12.5MW of energy, which is enough to meet the annual energy requirements of just under 7,000 homes.

Visitors to the exhibitions will be able to provide feedback to members of the Banks Renewables team on the plans, and to ask any questions they might have.

Banks will also be looking for ideas about voluntary groups and local good causes that could be supported through the community benefits package that would be available if the wind farm gains planning permission.

The proposed Windy Bank site falls inside an area that was identified as being suitable for wind development in both the most recent North East England Renewable Energy Strategy document and in a subsequent independent report prepared by consultants Ove Arup for the North East Assembly.

Phil Dyke, development director at Banks Renewables, says: “We’ve undertaken a great deal of work over the last two years to gather feedback from local communities about our proposals, and all this information has been used to help us hone our proposed design for the Windy Bank scheme.  We believe that we have been able to design a scheme that is visually acceptable to the villages of Hamsterley and Woodland.”

“Power generated by onshore wind farms such as this has a crucial role to play in meeting local and national energy requirements in the foreseeable future, and we are confident that we have designed a scheme that is efficient, environmentally acceptable and able to bring significant benefits to the surrounding area.

“We’re very keen to hear ideas from local people about how they might like to see the Windy Bank scheme, should it be approved, provide support and funding for local community groups and initiatives, in order to help ensure that our presence in the area has a tangible positive long-term impact on the local community, and we hope as many people as possible come along to our events.”

Anyone unable to attend the exhibitions, but who wants to find out more about the updated Windy Bank proposals should contact the project team on 0191 378 6100 or e-mail windybank@banksgroup.co.uk

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