Jobs and £3m contracts if County Durham wind farm approved

A planning application for the turbines to the north of Guisborough has been submitted to Redcar & Cleveland Borough Council for consideration

Lewis Stokes, right, with a visitor to the public exhibition
Lewis Stokes, right, with a visitor to the public exhibition

Up to 40 jobs could be created and local firms could benefit from contracts worth about £3m, if a proposed wind farm for County Durham gets the go-ahead.

A planning application for the turbines to the north of Guisborough has been submitted to Redcar & Cleveland Borough Council for consideration.

North East family-owned business Banks Renewables is looking to build the five-turbine Bank Field wind farm on agricultural land on the northern side of the A171, and has been involved in a range of discussions with the community around the area over the past year as its plans have developed.

Up to 40 jobs could be created during the construction of the wind farm, which would have an installed capacity of around 17MW, and local firms would be able to tender for contracts worth around £3m relating to its construction, as well as to other aspects related to its development, such as accommodation, catering and security.

A substantial community benefits package worth around £85,000 per year would run alongside the wind farm if the current design is approved, which would enable Banks to deliver a range of community and environmental improvements in partnership with local people, and around £7.8m worth of business rates would also be generated over its 25-year lifespan.

The landscape of the proposed site has been identified as the most suitable in the area for renewable energy schemes of this type; if the plans are approved, it would be the first such onshore wind farm in the area.

Banks reduced the number of turbine in the scheme from six to five following a range of technical assessments used to identify the most efficient design for the scheme.

Phil Dyke, development director at Banks Renewables, said: “This is a carefully-designed scheme that is sited in a wholly appropriate location for this sort of development, and we’re pleased to have reached this important landmark.

“Increasing the amount of energy that we produce by renewable means and ensuring the UK maintains its own indigenous and cost-effective energy supplies has never been higher up the news agenda, and onshore wind farms such as Bank Field have a central role to play in meeting both of these challenges.

“In addition to generating significant amounts of renewable energy, which would make a major contribution towards the local authority’s renewables targets, the Bank Field Wind Farm would also bring a range of other benefits to the local area, from new jobs and commercial opportunities for local businesses through to funding for community and environmental improvements.

“We have had a pleasing level of support for our plans from many people across the area, and hope that Redcar & Cleveland Borough Council’s planning committee will also recognise its many merits when our application comes before them.”

A decision on the planning application is expected in the new year.

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