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Villagers in push for wind turbine project
A GROUP of villagers aims to create a source of sustainable, renewable energy which will also provide funding for the local community.
Residents from Weaverthorpe, Helperthorpe and Butterwick have set up Three Weavers Green, a not-for-profit organisation working in partnership with the Humberside Co-operative Development Agency.
Jill Wilson, from the group, said the aim was to enable the community to increase its use of renewable energy resources in order to offset their carbon footprint. She said: “A study has been carried out to assess the potential of various renewable energy options and we believe that the one which would most benefit the community at this time is a wind turbine.
“We obtained funding to pay for the surveys and reports necessary and have now applied for planning permission for two wind turbines in Weaverthorpe.
“We’re not climate change extremists. We know that some people have their doubts about the existence of man-made climate change; however, we also know that no one is denying fossil fuels are disappearing and by contrast wind power is inexhaustible.”
Jill said it would have been wonderful to have preserved the countryside as it looked back in 1800, but the reality was that we needed modern roads, modern infrastructure, and modern solutions to our power demands.
She said: “The burning of fossil fuels to produce energy in the UK dwarfs all other greenhouse gas emissions. It produces a full two- thirds of our CO2 emissions.
“Our government has binding legal targets to meet in this respect. Wind, solar and tide power can, and should, play part of an integrated solution to our power needs.”
Jill said the main argument against wind turbines was the visual impact.
She said: “Surely ensuring our power supply and reducing emissions are far more important than whether we like the look of them or not. I’ve never heard anyone defend the appearance of pylons. By contrast, there are plenty of people who believe turbines to be beautiful structures.”
Jill said that in conjunction with the Community Turbine they have also put in planning permission for a second turbine on a separate site to support four local, not-for-profit organisations. She said: “The cost to the community is zero; the turbines are commercially funded with loans that will be paid back over the first ten years from the income generated by the turbines, and the surplus will be available for community projects decided on by a committee made up of residents from the three villages.
“We also have a number of ideas for consideration but they are not set in stone, including transport from the villages to the main York-Scarborough road, bursaries for students and further renewable energy schemes.”
Jill said one decision that had been made already is that each household in the three ecclesiastical parishes, about 630 homes, will receive £200 per year to help with their energy bills, £100 from each turbine.
She said: “The turbines will provide funding for community benefit projects to the tune of £150K per year for the first ten years and about double per year after that. This is not an ordinary planning application – issues of ensuring power supply and reducing emissions are big picture considerations – they are far more important than whether we like the look of them or not.”
For more information on the project, visit threeweaversgreen.co.uk
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