scores of worried local residents turned out at an exhibition to view and discuss plans for a new wind farm at land around Beckingham and Saundby.
The meeting took place at Beckingham Village Hall where representatives from Partnerships for Renewables Development presented their proposals and took questions from concerned residents.
The plans are still in their early stages but entail the potential for a maximum of six turbines at a height of 130 metres tall, and capable of generating around 33 gigawatt hours of green electricity every year, powering about 7,200 homes.
PFR communications Jo Reeves said that it was a very rewarding experience.
“It was just an early opportunity for the local community to meet the project team and share their feedback and concerns,” she said.
“We had a really good turnout, which is brilliant because it means we can start a dialogue early and see what people think of the plans.”
“A lot of people wanted to share their concerns and we tried to alleviate them where we could.”
Jo said that PFR chose the Saundby site in order to work with the Environment Agency.
“We were set a project by the Carbon Trust to work with the Environment Agency, and this is just one of a number of sites we are investigating in the country, but this is the only one in this area that we are looking at.”
“We scoured all available land holdings, and although it’s still in the early stages, this seems like the most suitable for a wind farm development.
She went on to say that there would be a number of benefits for the local community, and were keen to continue discussions with the community.
“As well as the contribution of renewable energy on a national scale, we’ll be putting in place a community benefit fund, which for six turbines would be £37,500. That money would go to the local community for them to decide how it’s spent, then a group of residents from around the area will be able to decide how they will administer it.”
She continued: “As well as coming to consultation events which we shall continue to run in future, there is also a project website so people can get in touch with any queries. We are always very happy to go along and meet individuals or interest groups to tend to their concerns and gather feedback.”
She added: “We are very keen for people to be involved.”
Speaking at the exibition, local residents raised a number of concerns.
Beckingham resident Neil Thornhill said: “I don’t like the plans.I think we’ve had enough of power stations over the years and now all we’ll be able to see is these turbines - they’ll be an eyesore. I just don’t see them being very productive.”
Gerald Millard from Beckingham added: “It’s all too much for one place.”
For more information on the project you can visit www.pfr.co.uk/saundby.