February 18, 2016 | Hook Moor News
The first meeting of a community liaison committee that will help to keep local people informed about the progress of the construction of a new wind farm on Teesside has been successfully held.
Regional employer Banks Renewables, part of The Banks Group, was granted planning permission for the Lambs Hill wind farm at the end of 2011, and has since been working to complete details for the construction phase of the project .
As part of preparations for the start of construction work, which is scheduled to begin in March, the County Durham-headquartered firm put out a call for local people and representatives of local parish councils to be part of a panel that will meet regularly to get the latest information on the scheme and to feed back any comments or queries from local people about it.
A dozen people, including six from local communities and representatives of Stockton Borough Council and the Banks Renewables project team, attended the first committee meeting, which was held at Stillington Youth & Community Centre and covered the way in which future meetings will operate.
Judith Turner, Chair of Stillington & Whitton Parish Council, was elected as Chair of the panel at the meeting.
A community benefits sub-group will be formed from the committee, which will help to review and agree the local organisations and good causes that will receive funding from the Lambs Hill Wind Farm community benefits fund, which will be worth £10,000 per year throughout its 25-year lifespan, to help ensure that funding decisions reflect local priorities
The four-turbine Lambs Hill Wind Farm will sit to the North West of Stockton, and will also deliver a range of economic, employment, social, supply chain and environmental benefits to the local area, including the opportunity for local businesses to tender for contracts worth up to £700,000 in relation to various different elements of the scheme, including construction, security, accommodation and catering.
Judith Turner says: “The committee will help to provide reassurance for local people that the development of the Lambs Hill wind farm is being carried out in the right way, and will provide a means for ensuring good communication between the residents and the Banks Renewables project team.
“I’ll be making the minutes of our meetings and any other relevant project information available via a dedicated page on the www.stillington-whitton.com website, and will be available to gather any questions that residents might have about the way in which the construction process is planned and delivered.”
Banks Renewables has established itself as one of the UK’s leading developers in the onshore wind farm sector, and recently completed work on its seventh onshore wind farm, the Hook Moor scheme near Leeds.
Lewis Stokes, community relations manager at The Banks Group, says: “The community liaison committee will provide a valuable forum for meeting with local people where we can ensure that they are kept up-to-date on progress with the wind farm and can raise any questions with our project team.
“The local knowledge that our panel members will provide will be especially useful in identifying which funding applications to the Lambs Hill Wind Farm benefits fund are most suitable for support in terms of meeting local community improvement priorities.
“In addition to generating significant amounts of renewable energy, the Lambs Hill Wind Farm will also bring a range of other benefits to the local area, including new jobs and significant commercial opportunities for local businesses, and we’re looking forward to being able to generate clean, green energy from this scheme before the end of the year.”
For further information on the Lambs Hill Wind Farm, contact the project team via http://www.banksgroup.co.uk/lambs-hill/