How do you get your electricity bill paid for the next 25 years? Get a wind turbine next door....

IT won the Green Award at Fenland Enterprise Business Awards but now Greenvale is set to make others green with envy by paying the electricity bill for four homes for 25 years.

The money will go to those homes nearest to the their Floods Ferry potato plant at Doddington where a 59 metre high wind turbine is to be built on the 22 acre site.

Officers told Fenland District Council Planning Committee – who approved the turbine- that Greenvale “pride themselves in being at the forefront of environmental technology.”

A report to councillors noted that Greenvale “have invited the nearest residents- four properties within 500 metres- to take part in a local trust fund.

“This way the residents who are most affected get the greatest benefit. This trust fund is to provide �2,000 a year (�500 each) for 25 years and is intended to cover the cost of an average electricity bill.”

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Officers thought this approach “would appear to be relevant and related to the development. We are therefore minded to support the stance outlined.”

Councillor Jan French, planning committee member, said this was the first time she had heard of such an arrangement “but it is to be applauded. I think Greenvale have done their homework and shown real imagination.”

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Greenvale says a wind turbine will help them to achieve their target of reducing the carbon dioxide emitted by their operation by 20 per cent by 2015.

Wind Power will erect and operate it on their behalf and the energy produced should provide half that Greenvale needs to run its factory. Any surplus will be sold off to the National Grid.

Two letters of objection were considered by the committee, one letter describing turbines as “unnatural, huge, ugly and shocking. If we do not take a stand against these things the Fen landscape will end up like the landscapes of Hollad and other countries.”

Another felt Greenvale should have opted for solar panels. Fenland was fast becoming “islands in a sea of turbines and in danger of losing all value on our properties.”

In October the company’s environmental manager Jessica Cranthorne spoke of their pride at winning recognition at this year’s business awards- promoted by the Cambs Times, the Wisbech Standard and Fenland District Council.

“We are delighted to have received this award. The environmental success we have achieved at our Cambridgeshire site has been a huge team effort,” she said.

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