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ONSHORE PLANNING


The loan/share option outlined above is merely one of a long list of possibilities of incentive based initiatives that can be introduced. The key to what I hope to highlight is that developers will need to look towards their own solutions to the barriers faced at planning committee stages and take a proactive stance towards guaranteeing the future of the onshore sector.


COMMUNICATION


Financial gains are not the only solution for generating support at a local level and an open and active dialogue between developer, community and individual should be a priority for any new wind farm development throughout feasibility, submission and beyond in to construction.


We cannot take the chance that government policy will rescue or enhance the onshore industry. Internal assessments need to take place to see what is financially feasible for a developer and an acceptance of reduced profits for increased number of consents will need to take place.


Developers must try to, and usually do, recognise that the implementation of any wind farm is a partnership and financial gains will have to be spread further if any financial gains are to be made at all. Both financial and service-led benefits can be put in place for a local authority and the communities they represent, however, I would warn; Ignore the individual at your peril.


Editor’s note – with both Tom at Curtin and Sons and Matthew saying pretty much the same thing in different ways we believe it is very important to take on board their advice.


Bellenden Planning Communications www.bellenden.co.uk


The pair of 2MW wind turbines, both measuring 126m from base to tip, will be constructed on land at the Rodbaston Campus of South Staffordshire College, by developers Wind Direct and will supply green electricity direct to the College.


Last week the planning inspector gave the green light for the project and concluded that: “The significant contribution to meeting targets for renewable energy generation, and the consequential effect in tackling the challenge of climate change, represents a compelling argument in favour of the proposed wind turbines.”


Frances Karki, Chief Operating Officer of Wind Direct is pleased that this project has come to fruition. And stated “This is a project of firsts. South Staffordshire College will soon be the first educational establishment to be powered on this scale, bringing the first commercial wind power to theWest Midlands. The turbines will allow the development of a specialised curriculum at the College aimed at meeting skills and needs within the emerging low carbon industries.”


Wind Energy NETWORK 41


Earlier this year I signed an agreement with a specialist environment services provider which heralded the introduction of a Sustainability and Environmental Management degree course here at South Staffordshire College and just last week our marketing team won the College Marketing Network’s FE Gold award for Sustainability”.


Construction at the Rodbaston Campus is likely to commence in Spring 2011, with a target to have the project energised during Autumn of the same year.


Wind Prospect Ltd www.windprospect.com


SOME GOOD NEWS ON THE PLANNING FRONT!


College Celebrates Planning Go- Ahead forWest Midlands’ First Wind Turbines


The Government’s planning inspectorate has given the go-ahead for South Staffordshire College’s Rodbaston Campus to host the first wind turbines in the West Midlands.


In a double first, the College will also become the first further education establishment in the country to be powered by a wind project of this size.


Chief Executive Principal of South Staffordshire College, GrahamMorley concluded “This is exciting news for the College and our students. There was an extensive consultation process with a wide range of local stakeholders to assess this project and the turbines will provide hundreds of students each year with the additional knowledge and skills needed to help sustain a low carbon future in the UK. Sustainability is at the heart of everything we do; we recently became the only College in England andWales to have achieved both ISO 14001 and Ecocampus accreditation for our environmental management.


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