THE Co-operative Group is to submit plans for a major wind farm development on its Goole farming estate which will make a major contribution to the region's renewable energy needs.
The Group is drawing up proposals for the Whitgift Wind Farm scheme on land it owns at Pasture Farm over two miles from the village of Swinefleet. The wind farm will, it hopes, contain up to 25 wind turbines.
It will generate as much as 90 million units of electricity each year, offsetting the release of around 60,000 tonnes of carbon dioxide into the atmosphere.
As well as providing renewable energy the wind farm will also allow for the establishment of local environmental and community funds and act as a tourism and educational facility as well as contributing to the local economy throughout its 25-year life.
The Whitgift Wind Farm plans cover 1,000 acres of agricultural land, but the area will continue to be farmed after completion of the development.
The Group believes it is particularly well-placed to deliver a wind farm in the locality as it is an established member of the community and would retain control over the detail of the scheme.
Graham Ramsbottom, agricultural property manager for the Group, explained: "We have been farming this land, working alongside local communities, for more than 80 years.
"Although other wind farm schemes have already been put forward in the area, we are in a strong position to produce a scheme which meets local needs and, at the same time, helps East Riding of Yorkshire Council fulfil its commitment to providing renewable energy sources."
Added Mr Ramsbottom: "The Government has just set out its plans for the development of renewable energy resources in which wind energy features prominently.
"Whitgift Wind Farm is in a good location geographically both from a wind generation point of view and because of its relative remoteness from surrounding villages.
"We will continue to consult local communities for their views and will work closely with the council to ensure the Whitgift Wind Farm is designed to meet local planning needs."
The rest of the Group's 4,000-acre farming estate will remain unaffected by the development. As a first step towards the submission of a full planning application for the Whitgift Wind Farm ,the Group is now working with East Riding of Yorkshire Council to determine the scope of a detailed Environmental Impact Assessment for the scheme.
The Co-op Group has already obtained planning approval for its first wind farm on its agricultural estate at Coldham in Cambridgeshire.
Pictured above is one of the turbines at the Harlock Hill wind farm in Cumbria. The farm has been established with the help of the Lancashire Co-operative Development Agency.