People living in the communities around the site of a new wind farm on Teesside are being invited to be part of a community liaison committee that will help to keep local people informed about the scheme’s progress.
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 on addressing some of the technical issues associated with the site.
After assessing the results of a programme of geological investigations that were carried out last summer on the site, which sits to the to the North West of Stockton, Banks Renewables has now confirmed that construction of the four-turbine scheme will begin in March.
And as part of its commitment to ensuring local people are fully informed about the scheme’s development and operation, Banks Renewables is now looking to form a community liaison panel including representatives of local residents from the area which will meet every few months to get the latest information on the scheme and to feed back any comments or queries from local people about it.
Representatives of people living in the surrounding area, as well as delegates from Stillington & Whitton Parish Council, Bishopton Parish Council, Great Stainton Parish Meeting, Sedgefield Parish Council, Little Stainton Parish Meeting and Grindon Parish Council are being invited to put themselves forward for membership of the committee.
Lewis Stokes, community relations manager at The Banks Group, says: “We are committed to ensuring that we take every care in the construction and operation of the Lambs Hill scheme, and 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.
“Community liaison committees at our other schemes have proved very successful, and we hope to involve those people living closest to the Lambs Hill site.”
The Lambs Hill Wind Farm will have an installed capacity of up to 10MW, and will also deliver a range of economic, employment, social, supply chain and environmental benefits to the local community, 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.
The community benefits fund linked to the Lambs Hill Wind Farm will be worth £10,000 per year, and will also enable Banks to work in partnership with local people to support community improvement projects throughout the wind farm’s 25-year lifespan.
A community benefits sub-group will also be formed from the committee members, which will help to review and agree on the local organisations and good causes that will receive funding from the community benefits fund to help ensure that funding decisions reflect local priorities.
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 continues: “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, from new jobs and commercial opportunities for local businesses through to funding for a range of local community improvements.
“The community fund associated with this project will ensure that our presence in the area has a long-lasting positive impact, and the knowledge that local panel members will bring will provide invaluable when decisions are made on the projects and new facilities that should be supported by the fund.
“We firmly believe that modern, efficient, indigenous onshore wind farms like Lambs Hill have a central role to play in the UK’s future energy mix, as well as in generating more of the energy that we all use via renewable means, and are excited to be moving towards the start of construction with our latest renewable energy scheme.”
The Lambs Hill wind farm is expected to be fully operational by the end of this year. For further information on the Lambs Hill Wind Farm and the community liaison committee, contact the project team via email@example.com