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Wind farm fund ‘won’t help the right people’ 

Credit:  www.cambridge-news.co.uk 11 June 2012 ~~

Households affected most by a new wind farm are likely to benefit least from a £22,000 community fund offered by the site operators, opponents claim.

Bev Gray, chairman of the Cotton Farm Action Group, accused Renerco of “sidestepping” parish councillors by approaching potential recipients directly.

He said communities around the former Graveley airfield were “dreading” the imminent start of major construction at the wind farm site where land for a compound has already been cleared.

Mr Gray said parish councils around the site were concerned about how the annual community fund would be spent, how it was to be administered and how it was to be allocated, claiming that the operators wanted to control the way the money was spent. He said: “It is apparent the money will not go to the most affected villages because they do not qualify under the community fund rules.

“In an effort to sidestep the parish councillors’ concerns, the wind farm operators are trying to directly contact and invite what they classify as potential recipients to a meeting in Yelling.”

Mr Gray said the firm was approaching organisations, such as toddler groups, from across an area 5km (three miles) from the wind farm.

He said: “Villages like Graveley and Toseland do not have such organisations that can qualify and will lose out, despite being the most affected villages from the installation and operation of the wind farm.”

He said the community funds were a drop in the ocean compared with the amount landowners received and the subsidies gained by the wind farm firms.

Mr Gray said the fund should be £5 million to cover the impact of the wind farm through to its decommissioning.

Renerco is to install eight 417ft turbines on the site.

No-one at the firm could be contacted, but it has indicated that construction was starting this month, with the turbines being commissioned in December or January and work being completed in the spring.

Source:  www.cambridge-news.co.uk 11 June 2012

This article is the work of the source indicated. Any opinions expressed in it are not necessarily those of National Wind Watch.

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