THE Co-operative Group has submitted plans for a major wind farm development on its Goole farming estate, following a year of environmental study and public consultation.
The proposed Twin Rivers Wind Farm, containing 14 wind turbines on a 630-acre site at Pasture Farm, will make a significant contribution to the region's energy needs as well as opening up public access to the countryside, linking with the nearby Blacktoft Sands Nature Reserve.
As part of the plan, the Group intends to open up footpaths on its land, creating a public access network which will connect local villages, the wind farm and local conservation areas, enhancing the area's appeal to tourists and local residents. The wind farm will also provide support for local environmental, educational and community projects.
Agricultural operations on the Goole estate will remain unaffected by the establishment of the wind farm. The Group will continue to farm its 4,000 acres including the area around the turbines and will work with the local parishes to bring other benefits to the area throughout the life of the wind farm.
The scheme will generate enough electricity to meet the power needs of around 17,000 homes throughout its 25-year life, offsetting the release of over a million tons of carbon dioxide into the atmosphere.
Graham Ramsbottom, rural property manager for the Co-operative Group, explained: `We have fulfilled our promise to consult local communities, work closely with the local council and carefully study environmental impacts.
`As a result, we have been able to produce a scheme which is aligned with local needs and will help East Riding of Yorkshire Council fulfil its commitment to renewable energy sources.`
He added that as an organisation which had farmed land and worked alongside local communities for 80 years, the Co-operative Group was well-placed to deliver the wind farm.
`The Government has made it clear through a number of recent policy decisions that wind energy has a vital role to play in meeting the UK's future power needs, ` he commented. `The Twin Rivers project will not only help to meet demands for renewable energy but, linked with the Blacktoft Sands Nature Reserve and other local conservation areas, help enhance local tourist potential.`
The Co-op Group has already obtained planning approval for its first wind farm on its agricultural estate at Coldham in Cambridgeshire.