Evenwood village residents submit dozens of letters of support for Windy Bank wind farm

March 3, 2015 | Renewables News

To support this important project that will bring much needed investment, jobs and clean, green energy to the Woodland area of County Durham please go to: http://www.banksgroup.co.uk/windy-bank/support-this-project/.  It only takes a few moments!

Dozens of residents of a Teesdale village have written to Durham County Council to express their support for a wind farm development being planned in their area.

Sixty-five letters have been submitted by residents of Evenwood village alone in support of County Durham-based Banks Renewables’ proposed Windy Bank wind farm, which would be located around three miles from their homes.

Reasons given by the residents for their support for the project include the jobs that the project will create, the support for local good causes that the community funding will provide, the commercial opportunities for local firms and its environmental benefits.

Luke Bannister, who is secretary of Evenwood Cricket Club, says: “The community funding that this project would bring here would make a massive difference to what’s available for people to enjoy in our area in the future, the green energy it would generate would also be important for doing our bit for the environment

“A lot of the people that I’ve spoken to in the local area are supportive of the wind farm proposals and are keen to see it built.

“We’ve had wind turbines down the road at Tow Law for several years, they’re part of the landscape and I really don’t see that there are any problems with how they look.”

Banks is looking to invest over £16m in the four-turbine Windy Bank wind farm.

The associated community benefits fund would be worth around £70,000 every year, or up to £1.75m over the project’s 25-year lifespan.  The fund will support priorities which the local people feel are important to them and will have the greatest local benefit and Banks has been developing new measures to boost local employment opportunities, improve access to apprenticeships and enhance skills training.

Instigating work to tackle local domestic fuel poverty and energy efficiency issues has also been noted by people in the area as a possible area that could be supported by the fund.

Around 30 jobs would be created during the site preparation and construction phases of the scheme, with local firms having the opportunity to tender for a range of related contracts worth up to £3.5m for different aspects of the project, including construction, security, accommodation and catering.

Miles Crossley, senior business development manager at Banks Renewables, adds: “We’re continuing to speak to people across the communities surrounding the Windy Bank site to explain to them what we’re looking to achieve there, and we’re extremely pleased to have had such a positive response to our plans from people living in Evenwood village.

“The Windy Bank scheme is specifically designed to bring a range environmental, employment, supply chain, social and economic benefits, and there’s been a real appreciation amongst many of the people that we’ve spoken to of the positive impact it would have on their area.

“We believe there is a strong case for the Windy Bank scheme’s approval based on this, and wider evidence, and hope that the County Council will be minded to agree with it when the time comes.”

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