A North East community is hoping permission will be granted for a small-scale wind farm to be built in their area, which would see them benefit from in excess of £1million pounds it will generate.
Church parishes, Scout groups and the Girl Guides will be among those to profit from a share of the proceeds which could be generated by the County Durham based Ponder Gill wind turbine project.
Brothers, Andrew and Mark Thompson have applied to Durham County Council for planning permission to build two discreet turbines on their family farm, located next to the A66 near Barnard Castle.
Scout and Guide groups and communities from Bowes and Boldron have been identified as initial beneficiaries, but it is intended to roll-out the project into surrounding communities once planning permission has been granted and as soon as new opportunities to expand the project are brought forward.
The brothers – who inherited the land at Ponder Gill following the death of their father – estimate the wind farm could be worth up to £2m to the local community over the next 20 years, so are urging people and groups to step forward to suggest how best to spend the proceeds.
Andrew said: “My brother and I were born and raised in this area, so being able to support our community is something we feel strongly about.
“The wind farm will be our full responsibility, not that of a venture capitalist, therefore we can guarantee the entire proceeds generated from the 3rd turbine will be donated through a community benefit scheme to local organisations, including the parishes of Bowes and Boldron.
“We appreciate wind farms can be a contentious issue but we can assure people in the surrounding area, our turbines will be well designed and amongst the quietest turbines on the market, as well as playing a hugely significant role in providing funds for the important work of local organisations.”
Although planning has initially been sought for three wind turbines to be constructed at Ponder Gill, Andrew is keen for the local community to be made aware that the scheme will still work, even if the third turbine is located elsewhere.
A decision on the planning application at Ponder Gill is expected to be reached in early December.
For more information about Ponder Gill Wind Turbine Project or to voice your support for the community benefit scheme visit http://pondergill.co.uk/.