Council planning committee approves Lambs Hill wind farm plans

December 13, 2011 | Community News

Proposals for a new renewable energy generation project on Teesside have been approved by Stockton Borough Council’s planning committee for a second time.

Banks Renewables, part of the County Durham-based Banks Group, put forward the proposal for the Lambs Hill scheme, which will be located to the north west of Stockton and around three miles east of the A1(M).

Initial planning permission for the project was given by the committee in March this year after it was recommended for approval by the council’s officers, but this was then put on hold to allow The Department for Communities and Local Government (DCLG) to decide whether the scheme warranted further consideration.

In May, it was announced that such a review by the Secretary of State would not be required, meaning that the original decision to grant planning permission still stood, but with the decision having subsequently been challenged on a technicality, it was referred back for reconsideration by the Council’s planning committee.

The Lambs Hill scheme encompasses four wind turbines, and will have an installed capacity of up to 10MW of power, which is estimated to meet the annual electricity consumption requirements of up to 5,500 homes.

The wind farm will also provide a significant boost for the Teesside economy through the local supply chain, and up to 30 people will be employed on site during the construction process.

Local firms would be able to tender for contracts worth around £1million for the ‘balance of plant’ work required in the construction phase of the scheme.

A community benefits fund will also run alongside the wind farm, offering around £10,000 of funding each year for local community groups, environmental projects and voluntary organisations during the scheme’s 25-year lifetime, in order to provide tangible long-term benefits for the local area from Banks’ presence there.

Phil Dyke, development director of Banks Renewables says: “We are very happy with the decision that Stockton Borough Council’s planning committee has reached, and are pleased that the many benefits of the Lambs Hill scheme have once again been recognised by its members, just as they have been by a large cross-section of the local community during the public engagement work we carried out in the area over the last two years.

“The scheme will produce enough renewable energy to meet the annual electricity consumption requirements of up to 5,500 homes, and from an economic point of view, it represents a significant capital investment by Banks which will provide a boost for the regional economy through the local supply chain.

“Employment and commercial opportunities for local firms will be created in the construction phase of the scheme, and in addition to this, the money available from the benefits fund that will run alongside the scheme will significantly enhance the community in which the wind farm is based.

“We will continue to work closely with local people as progress is made on the project’s development, and will also be looking for ideas about how the benefits fund that will be associated with this scheme can best be allocated to ensure Banks’ presence in the community provides a positive, long-term legacy for everyone.”

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