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Banks Renewables issue Press Release about Copmanthorpe Windfarm

BANKS RENEWABLES SUSPENDS YORK WIND FARM PLANS IN LIGHT OF LOCAL RENEWABLES
PLANNING POLICY UNCERTAINTY

Plans for a new wind farm to the south west of York are being suspended in
the light of continuing uncertainty about the local planning regime.

Banks Renewables put forward plans for the proposed Hagg Wood wind farm,
which would have been situated on agricultural land to the west of
Copmanthorpe, at the start of 2011.

Despite being recommended for approval by the City of York Council’s
officers, a planning application for a test wind mast on the site was
rejected by its Planning Committee in June last year, even though the
decision came against guidance from existing planning policies.

Since then, Banks has been reviewing the different options available for
taking the project forward in advance of the adoption of the new Core
Strategy for the City of York area, which will be the reference point for
all development and change in the area, including renewable energy schemes,
for the next 20 years

However, the removal of the Strategy from examination earlier this year has
created further uncertainty over local renewables policy, and with no clear
indication over when the document will be finalised, taking the Hagg Wood
scheme forward has become impractical in the immediate future.

(In addition to generating significant amounts of renewable energy, the
Hagg Wood scheme would have brought a range of other benefits to the local
area, including new jobs and contract tendering opportunities for local
businesses around different aspects of the project’s development.
Substantial new funding for community and environmental improvements would
also have been made available, along with new training opportunities for
local young people.)

Phil Dyke, development director at Banks Renewables, says: “It’s
disappointing for us to have to take this decision, but the continuing
uncertainty about local renewables planning policy makes it unsustainable
for us to continue to take this scheme forward at this time.

“We still believe that Hagg Wood would be a well thought-out and
sensibly-sited scheme that would have the potential to both make a major
contribution to low carbon energy generation in North Yorkshire, and to
also bring a range of valuable economic, employment, environmental and
community benefits to the local area.

“The imperative to generate more of the energy that we all consume from
renewable sources is getting ever stronger, and once the updated Core
Strategy is in place, we will look to work with the Council to identify
possible locations for renewable energy developments in the York area.”
- ends -

For further press information, please contact Julian Christopher at
Footprint Public Relations on 07891 005034 or via
julianchristopher@btinternet.com

Notes to editors

Banks Renewables
Banks Renewables is part of the Banks Group. Banks Renewables develops
renewable energy solutions to meet society’s increasing demand for
electricity and heat. We are committed to generating power from renewable
technologies such as wind farms. Our large development team works with
landowners and takes projects from inception to completion, handling all
aspects of the planning and delivery process

The Banks Group was founded in 1976 in County Durham and now employs over
400 people. Banks’ development with care approach ensures sites are
developed in close consultation with the community as well as carrying out
extensive environmental assessments. More information can be found at
www.banksgroup.co.uk

Campaign to keep Scotland Bonny

This message is from Wind Wise Radio who started the petition “First Minister Alex Salmond: Stop the reckless siting of wind turbines in Scotland’s scenic landscapes.”

For information, the petition has just passed 600 signatures, and we would appreciate your help to quickly DOUBLE that number.

Please take a minute to send details of this petition to just one of your friends who you believe will support this cause. Ask them to please sign the petition. (Has your significant other signed?)

Remember: Scotland’s natural beauty is under siege and may be irrevocably destroyed in the next 18 months. Soon there may not be a hilltop in Scotland without a view of turbines.

Local planners across Scotland are being overwhelmed by get-rich-quick wind prospectors submitting permit applications. An average of 6 applications every day! Figures obtained by the Scottish Tories under the Freedom of Information Act show 5,528 applications have been made since May 2007, seven times more than under the previous Labour-led administration. One local authority, Aberdeenshire, has received more than 1,000 planning applications over this period, while a series of other rural councils have experienced a 14-fold increase since the SNP came to power. Over 80% of large projects are being approved, even if local communities are opposed. Just two days ago, a major hurdle to turbines on the hills above Loch Ness was overcome when the planning board refused to object (without even visiting the site).

Please click here to view and sign the petition

Thank you again from the folks at Wind Wise Radio

Calderdale Council takes us seriously… AT LAST! But what about Bradford?

Denholme residents have today received a letter from Calderdale Council notifying them of a new planning application… Yet it’s not as close as you might expect.

Back in February 2012, Banks Renewables applied to Bradford Metropolitan District Council for planning permission for a 60m wind mast only HALF A MILE from the homes situated in Denholme Gate, yet they were not informed about it, as
Bradford Council said they were not ‘immediate’ neighbours of the proposed site.

As a result, imagine the surprise when local residents opened a letter from Calderdale Council this morning, informing them of a planning application for an even bigger 80m wind mast, but this time it is over 2 miles away on Ovenden Moor.

Furthermore, this seems to be a recent change in tactic by Calderdale Council, bearing in mind that NO-ONE in Denholme was informed about a recent major planning application for 140% bigger turbines on the same site, which was approved at a meeting at Halifax Town Hall last month.

For more information about the wind mast planning application on Ovenden Moor, please click here.

To date, no further information has been forthcoming from the developer behind plans for 4 x 100m turbines on Thornton Moor. Banks Renewables had intimated that the wind mast, for which planning conditions were discharged by BMDC last month, would be erected before the end of 2012 and they would give plenty of notice to the local community. Lets see shall we?!?!?

Parliament requests submissions on the economics of wind power

The Energy and Climate Change Committee will hold a public evidence session on the Economics of Wind Power at 10.00 am on Tuesday 10 July.

The Committee invites short submissions of evidence with a limit of two A4 sides (see ‘Notes on Submissions’ below). These may contain references or links to other documents and material but should briefly set out the key points.

Evidence should be submitted by 5pm on 27 June. Submissions should contain an indication of whether or not you would like to give oral evidence to the Committee.

Witnesses for the session will be selected on the basis of the submissions received and will be notified on 3 July as to whether they will be called.

The Committee is particularly interested in the following, although written submission need not address all, or be confined to, these questions:

What do cost benefit analyses tell us about onshore and offshore wind compared with other measures to cut carbon?

What do the latest assessments tell us about the costs of generating electricity from wind power compared to other methods of generating electricity?

How do the costs of onshore wind compare to offshore wind?

What are the costs of building new transmission links to wind farms in remote areas and how are these accounted for in cost assessments of wind power?

What are the costs associated with providing back up capacity for when the wind isn’t blowing, and how are these accounted for in cost assessments of wind power?

How much support does wind power receive compared with other forms of renewable energy?

Is it possible to estimate how much consumers pay towards supporting wind power in the UK? (i.e. separating out from other renewables)

What lessons can be learned from other countries?

What methods could be used to make onshore wind more acceptable to communities that host them?

Tim Yeo MP, Chair of the Committee, said: “Government policy on wind power should be based on sound economics and engineering, not political pressure from a small vocal minority – whether that be green campaigners or anti-wind protestors.

In this session we want to cut through all the hot air talked about wind power and examine whether the economics really add up.

Wind farms are over forty times less polluting than gas burning power stations – per unit of energy produced – but there are concerns about the costs to consumers.

We will be asking if the Chancellor is right to consider cutting onshore wind power subsidies? And how much these subsidies really add to our electricity bills?

Does it really make financial sense to generate low-carbon electricity from wind? Or are there cheaper ways to cut carbon emissions from our power stations?”

The Committee is participating in a visit to the London Array and Gunfleet Sands Windfarms on 13 June.

Notes on Submissions

Submissions should be in Word or rich text format, please do not use PDF format, and sent by e-mail to ecc@parliament.uk. The e-mail should make clear which organisation or individual the submission is from and include a contact name, telephone number and postal address. Any hard copies should be sent to: The Clerk, Energy and Climate Change Committee, 7 Millbank, London, SW1P 3JA. The deadline is 5pm on 27 June.

Submissions should be no longer than two A4 sides. Paragraphs should be numbered for ease of reference and the document should, if possible, include an executive summary.

Submissions should be original work written for the Committee, not previously published or circulated elsewhere. Once submitted, your submission becomes the property of the Committee and no public use should be made of it unless you have first obtained permission from the Clerk of the Committee. Please bear in mind that Committees are not able to investigate individual cases.

The Committee normally, though not always, chooses to publish the written evidence it receives, either by printing the evidence, publishing it on the internet or by making it publicly available through the Parliamentary Archives. If there is any information you believe to be sensitive you should highlight it and explain what harm you believe would result from its disclosure; the Committee will take this into account in deciding whether to publish or further disclose the evidence.

For data protection purposes, it would be helpful if individuals wishing to submit written evidence send their contact details in a covering letter. You should be aware that there may be circumstances in which the House of Commons will be required to communicate information to third parties on request, in order to comply with its obligations under the Freedom of Information Act 2000.

Win an Ashley Jackson Limited Edition, or a day for 4 at Bradford City

20120530-213718.jpgAshley Jackson, the watercolorist who contacted us back in April to pledge his support to our campaign, has kindly agreed to donate a limited edition of ‘Top Withens’.

The following is an extract taken from Ashley’s website:-

"To celebrate 50 years in the profession as an artist, I am very excited to be able to share with you the first showing of ‘Wuthering Heights’, a painting and location that are very close to my heart."

Therefore, Thornton Moor Windfarm Action Group are very proud to announce that we will be running a prize draw and will be offering this magnificent piece of artwork as our first ever prize alongside other prizes which have also been donated, including the use of a Bradford City Football Club corporate box for up to 4 people at Valley Parade, courtesy of SP Insurance Services Ltd and a Collection of Usborne Childrens Books worth £50, courtesy of Anthea Orchard, your local Usborne Books Representative

To be in with a chance of winning one of these amazing prizes, including the limited edition Ashley Jackson piece worth £325, all you have to do is make a donation to our ‘Fighting Fund’.  As a thank you for your donation, for every £10 you donate, you will be allocated a share for the prize draw, so the more you donate, the greater the chance you will have of winning.  Simples!!

There will be no closing date for donations.  Instead we have set a fundraising target that we would like to reach. Once this target has been reached, we will announce the winner.

If you would like to make a donation via paypal, please click on the donations tab at the top of the screen.  Otherwise. please email us for our postal address to which you can send cheques.  We also welcome anyone wishing to set up a regular standing order, as our fundraising efforts will need to continue for some time (unfortunately!)  Please ask us for our bank details.

In the meatime our heartfelt gratitude goes to our generous benefactors for donating such generous prizes to our campaign.

If you cannot wait to get your hands on some of Ashley’s work, you can visit his studio in Holmfirth, or go to his website www.ashley-jackson.co.uk

Lord Reay Bill read again in House of Lords

I am pleased to announce that Lord Reay has already taken the opportunity to resurrect the Wind Turbines (Minimum Distances from Residential Premises) Bill.

In an e-mail sent to another windfarm action group (www.t-a-g.org.uk) back in March 2012, Lord Reay confirmed his intentions, which have also been confirmed by the website http://www.dodslegislation.com/bill/2012-13-wind-turbines-minimum-distances-from-residential-premises-bill-hl/ which states that the bill was read on 14th May 2012.

Please do continue to sign the petition we launched earlier this month, as this will help show support for this particular aspect of our campaigns, and hopefully the government will then find it hard to brush off.

Wind blows cold for Banks… brrrrrrr!

Loch Lomond

A proposed wind farm in the heart of Scotland has been put on the back burner today by Banks Renewables, the same developer behind plans for the Thornton Moor Windfarm, amid revelations that the site is not windy enough!

 

The 10 turbines proposed for Ard Ghoath would be 115 metres tall and located next to Loch Lomond and the Trossachs National Park, North East of Glasgow. Our sister action group, Endrick Valley Action Group (EVAG) have published a letter sent to local council members by Banks Renewables informing them that they are postponing the full planning application for the wind farm which was meant to be submitted in June 2012.

  

Banks erected a 60m wind mast in the area late last year, the mast being the same size as the one proposed for Thornton Moor. However, in only 3 months, the data collected by the wind mast has shown "much lower average wind speeds than expected by the (Banks) team."

Please click here to read the letter on the EVAG Facebook page.

New Government e-petition launches to resurrect Lord Reay Bill

Today sees the launch of a new Government e-petition which aims to resurrect the Bill written by Lord Reay – ‘Wind Turbines (Minimum Distances from Residential Premises)’ which was dismissed by the House of Lords earlier this year.

The petition has been lodged by the Thornton Moor Windfarm Action Group as part of their strategy which aims to change national policy with regards to the wind energy industry as a whole, which in turn should help campaigns at a local level once the change in policy has been implemented.

Please click here to sign the petition.  Thank you in advance for your support