RWE npower renewables, one of the leading UK wind energy companies, has been granted planning permission to build a twelve-turbine wind farm located between the villages of Bozeat, Harrold and Lavendon.
Nun Wood Wind Farm was the subject of a thorough and rigorous public inquiry, held before a Government appointed Planning Inspector. The public inquiry, which concluded in October 2011, was open to all local residents and businesses.
Matt Pinfield, Regional Manager for Eastern England at RWE npower renewables said: “We are delighted with the Planning Inspector’s consent for Nun Wood Wind Farm. It is a superb location for a wind farm – well designed and appropriately sited and will generate enough energy to meet the annual average needs of thousands of homes each year. The Nun Wood Wind Farm will make a substantial contribution to clean energy supply and the reduction in emissions of greenhouse gasses.”
In his written report the Planning Inspector stated: “The degree of harm in landscape and visual amenity is limited. In my judgement the harm is outweighed by the urgent need for renewable energy as promoted in national and regional policies and the wider environmental and economic benefits that it would bring over a 25 year period.”
As well as Nun Wood Wind Farm generating enough electricity to meet the annual average needs of between approximately 13,700 and 15,6001 homes each year, the local community could receive a windfall of at least £540,000 over the lifetime of the wind farm.
This funding would provide a valuable long term source of income for the local community. It is flexible funding that can address what is really important to communities and has the potential to fund large and small projects as well as capital and revenue activities. The annual funding of £1,000 per megawatt (MW) per year would become available when the wind farm is operational and local people can be involved in deciding how it is distributed.
Matt Pinfield added: “We have consulted with the local community during the planning and development of this wind farm and as a responsible developer we will continue to work with the community throughout the next stages of the project as the wind farm is constructed. We will be providing detailed construction and traffic management plans to Milton Keynes Council, Bedford Borough Council and the Borough Council of Wellingborough which will also be available for public consultation.”
Construction of the wind farm presents opportunities for local economic benefit and employment. Whilst current legislation and competitive tender process for each part of the works is followed, it is normal to expect that local suppliers and contractors with appropriate skills will be well placed to tender for contracts.