Wind farm cash up for grabs by community

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RESIDENTS living near a new wind farm development are being called upon to help decide how its £700,000 community fund should be spent.

Up to £28,000 per year will be up for grabs from RES UK and Ireland Ltd, the developer behind the seven-turbine Grange Wind Farm project at Tydd St Mary Marsh.

Over the next two months, four consultation meetings are being held to help decide what priorities the community has for the cash.

Helen Hall, RES project manager, said: “The fund was attached to the wind farm when we were drawing up the planning application.

“Now over the next few months we are looking to consult with local community to make sure the fund is set up in the right way, everyone has access and knows what’s going on. We also want to make sure the money is spent in the best way possible because every community is different.”

It is hoped a panel made up of local people will be set up to decide who should be awarded grants of between £250-£5,000 when the farm is up and running.

The Lincolnshire Community Foundation is managing the fund and staff will be on-hand to meet residents at the consultation meetings.

Meetings will be held on October 12 from noon-5pm at Sutton Bridge Constitutional Club, November 10 from 1pm-4pm at St Germans Memorial Hall, November 15 from noon-5pm at Holbeach Community Centre, and on November 23 from 11am-3pm at Wisbech Council Chamber.

Approval for the wind farm was given in October, following a public inquiry by the Planning Inspectorate.

It is hoped it will be fully operational by March 2013, with work due to start on access roads in November.