Fending off concerns about Polegate wind farm plans

GTR wind turbine
GTR wind turbine
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AN energy company pushing the district authority to allow a five turbine wind farm to be built in Polegate has defended its plans.

Galliford Try Renewables (GTR) visited the Sussex Express offices this past week to hand over an ‘Answers to Questions’ brochure following opposition to the proposal. These pamphelts are being delivered to 4,000 households in the Polegate area.

GTR wants to install the wind farm on land north of the A27, each side of Shepham Lane. Wealden District Council is considering giving planning consent, looking at issues such as archaeological investigations at the site.

Campaign groups have been set up by residents either supporting or opposing the plans for the 415ft tall turbines.

Representatives of the company told the Express that power for the wind farm would produce enough electricity for the combined number of households in Polegate and Westham (5,590 to 6,900 homes) - but the power will not be ringfenced for the towns. Instead it will be tapped into the national grid.

However a community benefit fund will be set up with a Trust formed of local parties to discuss how to use the money for local communities - not dissimilar to contributions given by housebuilders for developments.

In the brochure, GTR said: “GTR has welcomed suggestions from the community regarding the possible use of this fund and continues to welcome additional ideas.

“The firm details of the fund are currently being prepared, but at this stage GTR can advise that the value of the fund for the community could be as much as £1.9m across the project lifecycle.”

Local business would also benefit, the company said, with materials bought from ‘local sources whenever possible’ as well as outsourcing to local contractors for work.

Issues raised since the plans were originally submitted last September (2011) are reviewed by GTR in the brochure by giving the ‘Planning Matter’ [issue] followed by GTR’s response and the consultee response.

Contact GTR tel: 01473 627100, email: info@ shephamwindfarm.co.uk or: www.shephamwindfarm.co.uk