Planning committee set to review reduced Moor House wind farm plans

October 13, 2011 | Moor House News

Revised plans for a new wind farm to the north east of Darlington are set to be assessed by Darlington Borough Council’s planning committee next week.

County Durham firm Banks Renewables, part of the Banks Group, originally developed proposals for a ten turbine scheme, which was to be sited on land to the north east of Barmpton, around three miles to the east of the A1.

Although originally recommended for approval by the Council’s planning officers, the first Moor House proposal was rejected by the council’s planning committee in November last year, primarily on the grounds of the scheme’s visual impact.

Banks then moved to address these design issues, and in April this year, submitted a new scheme comprising just six turbines and which covers a significantly smaller area.

The maximum tip height of the proposed turbines has been increased from 110m to 125m to optimise the amount of renewable energy that the reduced scheme can produce.

Phil Dyke, development director of Banks Renewables, says: “We believe that our original plans are acceptable and were obviously very disappointed with the rejection of these proposals, especially as they were recommended for approval, but having looked carefully at our design options, we believe the new proposal addresses the concerns that were raised at the original planning committee meeting.

The new Moor House scheme, which is a kilometre away from Barmpton and more than two kilometres from the next nearest village, would involve a £17.5 million investment by Banks.

 It would have an installed capacity of up to 15MW, and would be able to produce enough renewable energy to meet the annual power requirements of approximately 8,400 homes.

It could also provide a major boost for the regional economy, with businesses able to tender for contracts worth up to £4.5million during the site development and construction phases of the scheme,

In addition to this, a community benefits fund would also run alongside the wind farm, offering £375,000 of funding over the life of the site for community groups and good causes during the lifetime of the scheme, in order to provide tangible long-term benefits for the community from Banks’ presence there.

Phil Dyke continues: “The Moor House wind farm would represent a significant capital investment by Banks in the local economy at a time when few companies are undertaking such projects, and could produce enough renewable energy to meet the annual power requirements of around 8,400 homes. 

“Employment and commercial opportunities will be created in the construction phase of the scheme, and the investment going into the project would naturally provide a real boost for local shops and businesses.

“Recent figures showed that just under ten per cent of the UK’s energy is currently being produced by renewable means, but this figure needs to rise, and rise quickly, if we’re going to meet the targets that have been set by the Government for the year 2020.

“The Moor House wind farm would play a major role in helping the Darlington Borough Council area achieve this important goal, and our professional planning view remains that the scheme we’re proposing is wholly suitable for this location.”

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