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Thursday, 02 October 2014

Places with turbines ‘should be rewarded’

SOUTH Copeland residents should be “rewarded” for hosting windfarms, according to the government.

Energy secretary Ed Davey says areas that host windfarms should receive community benefits – financial and social.

Plans have been submitted for an extension to the windfarm at HMP Haverigg, as well as well as a six turbine development at Langthwaite Farm, near Millom.

Mr Davey said: “Onshore wind has an important role to play in a diverse energy mix that is secure, low carbon and affordable.

“We know that two thirds of people support the growth of onshore wind. But far too often host communities have seen the windfarms but not the windfall. We are sensitive to the controversy around onshore wind and we want to ensure people benefit from having windfarms sited near to them.

“This new call for evidence will look at ways to reward host communities and ensure wider investment, employment and social benefits are felt locally.’’

Mr Davey also launched a consultation in to the benefits windfarm-host communities should expect, from grants to playgrounds to offsetting electricity bills.

The company behind the Haverigg windfarm development, Partnerships for Renewables, said residents will be in line for a £1.125m windfall should the plans be given the green light by Copeland Borough Council.

A spokesman said: “The fund for the HMP Haverigg project as it stands will provide a payment of £45,000 a year for the expected 25-year lifetime of the turbines; a total of at least £1.125m.

“Decisions on how the money will be spent will rightly be taken by representatives of the local community, not PfR.

“Should the project be granted planning permission, a separate consultation will be held to ask the local community's views on how the fund should operate.’’

A further consultation on the HMP Haverigg windfarm development will take place on October 3, at Haverigg Working Men’s Club.

Representatives from PfR will be available from 1pm to 7pm to answer questions.

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