Turbine windfall safe
DEVELOPERS have promised not to claw back a massive windfall paid to Fenland District Council and not yet spent following completion of eight wind turbines. Fenland Wind Power paid more than £30,000 to the council nearly two years ago, and is committed to
DEVELOPERS have promised not to claw back a massive windfall paid to Fenland District Council and not yet spent following completion of eight wind turbines.
Fenland Wind Power paid more than £30,000 to the council nearly two years ago, and is committed to a further £10,000 a year, as part of the community benefit agreed when the turbines at Grassmoor near Whittlesey were built.
However, the money has not been spent, and the developers could, under the terms of the agreement, ask for it back after this June, two years after handing it over.
But Tim Mills, Fenland Council's director of housing and development, says the money is safe and on Monday night met with the wind turbine operators to discuss spending the cash.
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He said a community group set up to allocate the money, for environmental and educational purposes, would now meet in the week beginning February 20.
He hoped applications and decision making would be completed by March 31.
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He accepted there had been a "bit of a hiatus" over administrative arrangements and it had taken time to work out a timetable.
With so many wind turbine applications going through in recent years, the council had been working through all the community benefit conditions attached to each.
"We are not going to have done everything instantly," said Mr Mills.
His statement, however, will please Councillor Ian Walker, chairman of Ramsey Town Council, who earlier this week accused Fenland Council of dragging its feet over the money.
Representatives from Fenland Council, Huntingdon District Council, Whittlesey Town Council, and the parishes of Pondersbridge and Ramsey Mereside, had met only once in the past year to discuss spending the cash, he said.
"It's been hugely frustrating all the way through," he added.