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picklesFollowing a detailed review of the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government’s decision to refuse planning permission for the Spring Farm Ridge project, Broadview has identified a number of concerns about the manner in which the decision was taken.  Accordingly, Broadview has today lodged an appeal to the High Court to quash the Secretary of State’s decision.

The Spring Farm Ridge project is a five turbine wind farm on agricultural land between the villages of Greatworth, Helmdon and Sulgrave, in Northamptonshire, and was the subject of a Public Inquiry that was held in October 2013, during which the Secretary of State intervened, recovering the decision for himself.  His refusal was against the recommendation of the Planning Inspector who conducted the two week Public Inquiry, and considered the vast amount of evidence that was presented by Broadview, the local authority and several other interested parties.

Two independent Planning Inspectors have now seen fit to approve the project as it was also subject to an earlier Public Inquiry in July 2012 wherein it was allowed.  That approval was struck down on a technicality by the High Court in January 2013 prompting the second Public Inquiry.

The scale of intervention by the Secretary of State, Eric Pickles, in onshore wind farms is unprecedented.  Since June 2013 when the Secretary of State first announced his policy to recover wind farms for his own determination, he has intervened in 56 wind farm applications, and of the 30 that have been decided upon, 27 have been refused.

Broadview’s Managing Director, Jeffrey Corrigan, said: “The decision by the Secretary of State is wrong in terms of planning and it is wrong in terms of energy policy.  The fact that two independent Planning Inspectors, who have demonstrated a balanced view in determining wind farms, have separately seen fit to approve the project demonstrates that it is well designed and in compliance with the relevant policies.  Spring Farm Ridge and many of the other onshore wind projects refused by Eric Pickles could have provided renewable energy to the UK at a competitive price.  Instead, the Government is signing contracts to purchase offshore wind to meet its renewable energy and carbon reduction targets at almost twice the price of onshore wind.  This will cost consumers hundreds of millions of pounds for many years to come”.

Notes to editors:

  1. Broadview Energy Limited www.broadviewenergy.com develops wind energy projects in the United Kingdom that will generate clean, sustainable energy. Broadview takes projects from site identification, through the planning process, to construction and ultimately operation. The company has successfully achieved planning consent for and constructed four wind farms in the United Kingdom, which are now all producing renewable electricity. Broadview also has a number of other projects at various stages of the development process throughout the country.
  2. More information on the Spring Farm Ridge renewable energy project can be obtained via the dedicated project web pages: http://broadviewenergy.com/spring-farm-ridge
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Eric-Pickles-credit-reNewsOnshore wind player Broadview Energy has warned future development of turbines in England is now “untenable” in the face of opposition from Communities Secretary Eric Pickles.

The London-based company said the Tory minister’s interventions in the planning regime, most recently to dismiss Broadview’s five-turbine Spring Farm Ridge site in Northamptonshire, have sent shockwaves through the industry.

Broadview managing director Jeffrey Corrigan said UK consumers will end up paying more for electricity as a result of Pickles’ actions.

“The scale of the interventions, the delays to the planning process and the substantial number of refusals makes future development of onshore wind in England untenable,” he said.

“Spring Farm Ridge and many of the other onshore wind projects refused by Eric Pickles could have provided renewable energy to the UK at a competitive price.

“If the UK is to meet its renewable energy and carbon reduction targets, this electricity will have to be provided by more expensive offshore wind or nuclear generation, saddling consumers with significant extra costs.”

The Broadview boss added that the overwhelming trend of decisions against wind farms, often against expert advice from the Panning Inspectorate, are contrary to coalition government policy.

“It is clear this and other interventions are not planning decisions, rather they are energy policy decisions that are contrary to the commitments to have the ‘greenest government ever’ and to keep the cost of energy to consumers in check,” he said.

Source – ReNews

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Pretty TwoWind generated enough electricity to supply the needs of more than 6.7 million UK households last year; a 15% increase on the amount generated in 2013 (up from 24.5 terawatt hours to 28.1TWh in 2014) – just over 25% of all UK homes all year round.

Wind farms feeding into the grid, as well as single turbines connected to local networks, provided 9.3% of the UK’s total electricity supply in 2014, up from 7.8% in 2013.

Other records were broken in December, with a new monthly high of 14% of all UK electricity generated by wind, beating the previous record of 13% set in December 2013, as well as a new quarterly record of 12% of electricity from wind in the last 3 months of 2014, breaking the previous record of 11% set in Q1 of 2014.

RenewableUK’s Deputy Chief Executive Maf Smith said: “It’s great to start 2015 with some good news about the massive quantities of clean electricity we’re now generating from wind, with new records being set month after month, quarter after quarter, and year on year, as we increase our capacity to harness one of Britain’s best natural resources.

“We’re now into a General Election year so we know that the political temperature is set to carry on rising over the next few months. The cost of energy has become an important political issue, so now would be a good time for voters, prospective parliamentary candidates and MPs to take account of the fact that onshore wind is the cheapest form of renewable energy we have at our fingertips. So if we’re serious about cutting bills, and securing an indigenous supply of clean power, all parties need to support it in the months ahead”.   

Notes:

RenewableUK is the trade and professional body for the UK wind and marine renewables industries. Formed in 1978, and with more than 590 corporate members, RenewableUK is the leading renewable energy trade association in the UK.

National Grid figures supplied to RenewableUK by independent data analysts EnAppSys, including embedded capacity (turbines feeding into local networks): http://www.enappsys.com/
2014 generation total by wind: 28.1TWh, compared to 24.5TWh in 2013.
28.14TWh powers the equivalent of 6,712,786 homes using the average annual domestic consumption figure of 4.192MWh in DECC’s latest update:
https://www.gov.uk/government/collections/digest-of-uk-energy-statistics-dukes

Total number of UK households = 26.4 million – Office for National Statistics latest census: http://www.ons.gov.uk/ons/rel/census/2011-census/population-estimates-by-five-year-age-bands–and-household-estimates–for-local-authorities-in-the-united-kingdom/stb-population-and-household-estimates-for-the-united-kingdom-march-2011.html