Community wind turbine secures public support
By mpad_mark | Thursday, October 11, 2012, 13:09
A scheme to build a community wind turbine in mid Cornwall will now go forward to planning after the team behind it received the required amount of public support to move forward.
Low Carbon Ladock's Chris Jones (left) and Jeny Kwee at the Ennis Barton wind turbine. The turbine is a similar size to the planned community installation at Ladock, which has received the required public support to take it to planning
The Low Carbon Ladock co-operative and Green Trust CIC, the organisations behind the proposed installation of the 500-800kW turbine, carried out a survey of all households in Ladock and Grampound Road, near Truro, to gauge support for the project.
When up and running it is estimated the wind turbine will generate around a third of the electricity used each year by homes and businesses in the parish and at least £30,000 per year for the local community.
A total of 633 questionnaires were sent to households in the parish with 308 being returned to independent market research company, PFA Research.
Of those returnees 56 percent were in favour of the community wind turbine, 42 percent against and two percent declined to answer the question.
Overall 27 percent of households in the parish responded with a yes, 20 percent with a no, while 52 percent did not respond.
Low Carbon Ladock's Chris Jones, said: "The co-operative were quite clear that if we did not achieve a 55 percent yes vote then we would not even submit the planning application.
"It is great to have passed that benchmark meaning that we can now move forward to the planning process, but we must remember that it is the planning system that will really determine whether the community turbine will go ahead.
"We would have liked more returns as we want the whole community to be engaged, however, what is encouraging is that one in two households in the area participated in the consultation.
"We know there are concerns from people who live near the proposed site, but we looked across the parish for a suitable site and are confident the one chosen is the best possible location to have a community turbine of significant scale."
Prior to the survey the Low Carbon Ladock team held two public open evenings, one in Grampound Road and one in Ladock.
During these events attendees had the chance to find out more about the proposed 76m high community turbine.
Chris added: "People will be able to invest in the turbine and we are working on local supply models for the green electricity generated, but I think the real tangible benefit for the community as a whole is the fund that will be generated of at least £30,000 which will be reinvested in the area every year.
"Anyone in the parish can join the Low Carbon Ladock co-operative and have a say in how the community fund is spent and we asked people on the questionnaire what the top five priorities are for them."
These results showed that 52 percent of people want to use the money to help people in the community move out of fuel poverty; 48 percent want to use the money to make homes, businesses and community buildings more energy efficient; and 47 percent want to use the money to install microrenewables on homes and businesses to generate further green energy and income for the community.
For more information please visit www.transition-lgr.org