The company behind plans for a giant wind turbine in Uttoxeter is to offer cash for the benefit of the community if granted planning permission by council chiefs.
In a letter to Staffordshire County Council on behalf of Aggregates Industries and AGRenewables, planning consultant Mike Halsall has revealed that the companies intend to set up a community benefit fund of £2,500 per annum for the time the turbine is operating.
They have already submitted the plans to the council’s planning committee for a 255ft (78m) wind turbine on Uttoxeter Quarry, in Spath.
The letter states: “The provision of a community benefit fund is not a mandatory requirement and is offered voluntarily by most wind farm and some single turbine developers.
“The offer (or not) of a community benefits fund is not a material planning consideration and should therefore not form part of the planning determination.
“For this reason, details of the proposed community benefits fund, and how this would be established and managed, are not included in the planning application and will be subject to discussion and agreement with appropriate community representatives post grant of planning permission.
“We can confirm that Aggregate Industries and AGRenewables are committed to providing this fund and it is proposed to be set at £2,500 per annum for the operational life of the wind turbine.
“Currently the maximum amounts offered by commercial wind farm developers are up to £5,000 per MW installed; therefore the proposal to offer £2,500 for a 500kW turbine (0.5MW) is generous by industry standards.” The letter also states they have asked for an extension on the time the council has to determine the application.
Mr Halsall said: “We propose that December 21 would allow sufficient time for a decision to be made, with the application being reported to Staffordshire County Council’s planning committee on December 6.” The Advertiser revealed earlier this month that the council has already received 780 individually signed standard letters and a petition with more than 330 signatures in response to the application for the turbine.
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