The potential positive impact on local communities of plans for a proposed new wind farm in Teesdale has led them to win the backing of Bishop Auckland MP Helen Goodman.
The Windy Bank Wind Farm has been put forward for a site between the village of Woodland and the southern edge of Hamsterley Forest by County Durham firm Banks Renewables.
Having reviewed the details of the updated scheme design that was recently submitted by Banks to Durham County Council, which includes an enhanced community benefits fund worth up to £1.75m across the project’s 25-year lifespan, Helen has given her support to the four-turbine, scheme.
She believes that this funding could offer the area a chance to address a number of pressing local needs that might otherwise not receive the attention they require.
Helen Goodman says: “Labour remains strongly supportive of using appropriately-located onshore wind farm developments as part of the UK’s future energy infrastructure, and the Windy Bank Wind Farm would seem to offer a great deal to the local community alongside the green energy it would produce.
“Rural areas such as ours suffer disproportionately on a number of different fronts, including specific issues around skills development, employability and fuel poverty, and Government funding for projects addressing these areas will remain very stretched for the foreseeable future.”
“The resources that the Windy Bank community benefits fund would make available locally could make a huge difference to the lives of many people in different parts of our community, and I’m keen to see how the proposals Banks has worked up in response to comments they’ve had from local people could be brought to life using money drawn from this fund.”
“As someone who is in favour of renewable energy and onshore wind farms, and of the communities in which such schemes are based benefiting from their development, I’m firmly in favour of the Windy Bank Wind Farm going forward and would hope that Durham County Council will agree with my views.”