New wind farm proposal announced for Churchover

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A leading renewable energy company has announced that it plans to create a wind farm north of Rugby.

Independent renewable energy company RES said it hopes to develop a wind farm on a site that lies to the north of the village of Churchover and west of the A5 between Rugby and Lutterworth.

The option to develop the site previously rested with SSE (formerly Scottish and Southern Energy) and was subject to a planning application for a nine turbine wind farm, known as Bransford Bridge, in 2011.

The application was turned down by Rugby Borough Council and, following a review of its UK portfolio, SSE decided not to pursue the application any further.

However, RES had also identified the site’s renewable energy potential and has decided to acquire it from SSE.

Dan Patterson, RES project manager, said: “There are a number of factors that make this site a good choice for a wind farm, including excellent wind resource, good transport links and an available grid connection.

“On the other hand, we know that the previous proposals raised concerns about impacts on local people and the local environment. We have therefore gone back to first principles and want to develop an entirely new wind farm proposal that balances the need to create more sustainable and reliable sources of renewable energy with local concerns.”

The new proposal, known as Swift Wind Farm, will see the number of turbines proposed for the site drop from nine to four, allowing them to be positioned at a greater distance from neighbouring communities.

Government wind modelling data suggests that this is sufficient renewable electricity to meet the average needs of at least 5,500 homes.

As a completely new proposal, Swift Wind Farm is currently in the pre-submission phase. As part of this early stage, RES has submitted a scoping request to Rugby Borough Council to seek their guidance regarding the detailed investigations that would be required to support a formal planning application.

The company will also undertake public consultation with a wide range of stakeholders; including the local planning authority, parish councils, organisations like the RSPB and Natural England, community groups and local residents.

Mr Patterson said: “As a responsible developer, RES is committed to open and honest dialogue with local communities and those who represent them. Over the coming months, we will undertake a comprehensive programme of public consultation – including public exhibitions, meetings with community representatives and organisations, newsletters, and a project website – to enable local people to understand our proposals and comment upon them. We will be in touch with people living near the site very soon with more information about when and how they can learn about Swift Wind Farm, and giving contact details so they can ask us any questions they may have.”

Feedback from stakeholders will be taken into consideration when preparing the planning application.

On current timescales, RES predicts that a formal planning application for Swift Wind Farm will be submitted later this year.