ELECTRICITY DISCOUNT SCHEME LAUNCHED
Almost 500 properties in North Tawton and the surrounding area can claim £108 off their electricity bills every year under an innovative community benefit scheme launched at Den Brook Wind Farm. The addition of the Local Electricity Discount Scheme (LEDS) brings the total package of community benefits at Den Brook Wind Farm to more than two million pounds over the life time of the wind farm.
Read the full story here.
2 JUNE 2014:
LOCAL ELECTRICITY DISCOUNT SCHEME LAUNCHED AT DEN BROOK
Almost 500 properties in North Tawton and the surrounding area can claim £108 off their electricity bills every year under an innovative scheme launched by RES, the company developing Den Brook Wind Farm.
The Local Electricity Discount Scheme (LEDS) has been developed by RES as a new form of benefit for communities hosting its wind farms. The scheme is open to all residential, business and community buildings that have an electricity meter and are within an eligible area. LEDS at Den Brook is offering properties including homes, schools and village halls within 2,300 metres of the nine-turbine wind farm an annual discount of £108 off their electricity bill once the wind farm is fully operational.
Alison Jones, RES Community Relations Manager, said: “LEDS delivers direct and tangible benefits to people living and working closest to our wind farms in the form of a discount to their electricity bills. Feedback received from consultation with communities near both existing and potential wind farms has highlighted that people feel cheaper electricity is a practical benefit RES could offer. We have introduced the scheme successfully at other sites around the UK and I’m delighted that RES is now able to offer LEDS to people living and working near Den Brook Wind Farm.”
LEDS is being offered in addition to a Community Benefit Fund of at least £36,000 per year for investment in local community projects. The addition of LEDS brings the total package of community benefits at Den Brook Wind Farm to more than two million pounds over the life time of the wind farm.
RES has written directly to the properties around the site that would be eligible to receive the electricity discount under LEDS, offering people the opportunity to register their interest in the scheme. Participation in the scheme is entirely voluntary, with the discount paid directly to the relevant electricity supplier for the operational life of the wind farm.
Alison Jones explains: “The discount, which is index linked, will be paid for the full operational life of the wind farm - around 25 years. If someone moves out of an eligible property during that time, then the annual discount will become available to the new electricity bill payer for the property.”
The discount will apply once the wind farm becomes fully operational and is generating electricity. For further information about LEDS visit www.res-leds.co.uk
24 MARCH 2014:
HEDGEROW TRIMMING TAKES PLACE
RES will be trimming 150 metres of hedgerow at Whiddon Down during March to prepare for the construction of a new Link Road. The extent of the vegetation removal is where the new road will tie into the A3124 and A382. Approximately 100m of vegetation removal will take place on the A382 and 50m on the A3124.
Traffic lights will be required on the A3124 for a couple of days from Monday 24th March. It is unlikely that traffic management will be required on the on the A382.
13 DECEMBER 2013:
SITE ENTRANCE WORKS NEAR COMPLETION
Works to construct the site entrance at Den Brook Wind Farm are nearing completion. Kerbs and the sub-base aggregate layers are in place and tarmac laying is due to take place on Tuesday 17th December. White lining, fencing and removal of the temporary traffic controls will follow on Thursday 18th December. When the access works are complete, work on site will cease until Spring 2014 to minimise disturbance to any hibernating dormice.
28 OCTOBER 2013:
SITE ENTRANCE WORKS SCHEDULED FOR NOVEMBER
Enabling works are under way in preparation for the construction of Den Brook Wind Farm in West Devon. As part of the preparations, renewable energy company RES will be creating a site entrance off the A3072 between North Tawton and Bow.
The works are expected to begin week commencing 11th November and will take approximately five weeks to complete. Temporary traffic controls will be operating 24 hours a day during this time, as Rob Kemeys, RES Construction Project Manager, explains:
"We began work on site in September to prepare the first 100m or so of the access track that will lead from the A3072 to the turbine locations. We now need to join this track to the public highway and the traffic controls are there to ensure the safety of road users and construction workers during this period. Only a short stretch of the public road is involved and we don't expect the traffic controls to make any significant difference to travel times for people using this route."
RES has planned its construction timetable with great care to minimise any disruption, in close consultation with West Devon Borough Council, highways authorities and environmental experts. When the access works are complete, work on site will cease until Spring 2014 to minimise disturbance to any hibernating dormice.
20 AUGUST 2013:
NOISE CONDITION IS IMPRECISE, AGREE UNIVERSITY EXPERTS
Experts appointed by West Devon Borough Council (WDBC) have concluded that the noise condition imposed upon Den Brook Wind Farm does not provide a robust means of identifying the presence of amplitude-modulated wind turbine noise.
The noise condition was originally imposed on the nine-turbine wind farm as part of the planning permission upheld by the Court of Appeal, and applies to a particular type of noise called Amplitude Modulation (AM), or 'blade swoosh'. Since the Court of Appeal ruling, RES has spent several months testing the methodology that has been vociferously supported by the Den Brook Judicial Review Group. The results of these tests consistently show that the method reports that AM is present even at locations where there are no wind turbines. RES likens this situation to a policeman registering speeding motorists on his speed gun even when there are no cars there.
The company applied to WDBC in April this year in order to vary the noise condition, suggesting a proposal to rectify the flaws. The council appointed ISVR Consulting, University of Southampton, to advise them.
ISVR's report agrees with RES that Condition 20 'does not provide a robust means of identifying the presence of amplitude-modulated wind turbine noise'. It also says that 'there is no certainty that the thresholds as set would provide adequate protection to local residents'.
The report also questions the fundamental principles on which the noise condition was originally based, stating that 'there is no scientific basis for asserting that a level of AM exceeding the thresholds set in Condition 20 would present a significant or unacceptable noise impact'. It goes on to criticise the author of the condition, saying that 'it cannot be correct that an individual's personal experience and subjective judgement can provide the only basis for a noise condition' and suggests that a scheme should be developed to overcome the issues presented by Condition 20.
Rachel Ruffle, RES' Development Director commented: "We are very pleased that the report by the University of Southampton has confirmed everything we have said regarding Condition 20. On the basis of its findings, we have agreed to withdraw our request to vary Condition 20, and we will now work with ISVR to develop a scheme to overcome the problems inherent in the noise condition. We have also approached the Den Brook Judicial Review Group and invited them to participate in developing the scheme that will offer residents a robust means of measuring AM without imposing unnecessary restrictions on the operation of the wind farm."
25 JULY 2013:
WIND LEADS THE WAY AS ELECTRICITY FROM RENEWABLES INCREASES
Government figures released today in the annual Digest of UK Energy Statistics show that electricity production from renewable energy sources in 2012 was up by almost 20% on the previous year and accounted for over 11% of all electricity generated in the year. Electricity generation from onshore wind increased by 17%.
16 JULY 2013:
PEOPLE URGE GOVERNMENT TO BACK RENEWABLES
An authoritative new study from Cardiff University has revealed people's positive attitudes towards renewable energy. The study, conducted over two and a half years and involving 2,441 participants, highlighted the fact that a massive 82% of people say that they are worried about the country becoming dependent on energy from other countries. A similar figure (79%) wants to see reduction in fossil fuel use in the next few decades.
People said that they still backed renewable power even if the costs were significantly higher, and they wanted to move away from fossil fuels even if they were cheaper as they are a finite resource. The research also highlighted a massive 75% of the population were in favour of wind energy specifically.
More details on the Cardiff University study can be found here:
April 2013 -
RES LODGES FORMAL APPLICATION TO VARY NOISE CONDITION
The application by renewable energy company RES to vary the noise condition for Den Brook Wind Farm has been formally registered by West Devon Borough Council. The noise condition was originally imposed on the nine-turbine wind farm as part of the planning permission upheld by the Court of Appeal, and applies to a particular type of noise called Amplitude Modulation (AM), or 'blade swoosh'.
Since the Court of Appeal ruling, RES has spent several months monitoring background noise levels at other rural wind farm sites and running the data through the parameters set by the High Court. The results of these tests consistently show that excess AM, as defined by the current condition, is present even at locations where there are no wind turbines. RES likens this situation to a policeman registering speeding motorists on his speed gun even when there are no cars there.
"We were very concerned when we discovered that the noise condition wasn't working properly," explains Dan Leahy, RES Project Manager. "Like everyone else, we want a robust and reliable means of measuring AM at Den Brook Wind Farm. Working with a number of noise experts, we believe we have pinpointed the problem and we know how to fix it. However, we have to follow due process and ask the Council's permission to vary the condition, which is why we have lodged this application."
RES shared its concerns regarding the AM planning condition with members of the Den Brook Community Liaison Group at a meeting on 12 October 2012 and has since addressed a public meeting organised by West Devon Borough Council on 6 March 2013 at which it explained the problem and proposed solution.
The documents relating to the application to vary the noise condition can be accessed on the West Devon Borough Council website [http://www.westdevon.gov.uk/article/2368/Search--Track-Planning-Applications] or through the Planning Portal using planning reference number 00393/2013.
A decision on the noise condition variation is expected in the summer of 2013, but ultimately this timescale may be subject to change.
March 2013 -
NEW LINK ROAD AT WHIDDON ROAD JUNCTION IS APPROVED
Renewable energy company RES has welcomed the decision by West Devon Borough Council to approve plans for a new link road outside Whiddon Down, on the A30 between Exeter and Okehampton. The new link road will connect the A382 and A3142 on the Exeter side of Whiddon Down and improve visibility and safety at the junction. It forms part of the access route for Den Brook Wind Farm, which has already received full planning permission.
Providing the new link road is one of several commitments that RES has made to investing in the local communities around the Den Brook Wind Farm. Others include the provision of a community benefit fund of £36,000 per year once the wind farm is fully operational, which local people can invest in local good causes. The company has also pledged to introduce a habitat improvement programme at the wind farm site, which includes re-planting or repairing approximately 1500m of hedgerow, introducing grassland conservation areas, and installing bird and bat boxes to encourage greater diversity in the local plant and animal populations.
Work will start on the Whiddon Down link road in late 2013/early 2014 and last approximately 5 months.
June 2012 -
RES SUBMITS PLANNING APPLICATION FOR WHIDDON ROAD JUNCTION
RES has applied to West Devon Borough Council for full planning permission to construct a new link road between Exeter Road (A382) and the A3124 on land in the Whiddon Down area, approximately 10 km south east of Okehampton, West Devon. The junction is intended to improve the turning between the A382 and the A3124 to the east of Whiddon Down and is being proposed by RES as part of the general access improvement works for the Den Brook Wind Farm. If approved, the junction will form part of the designated route to site and will mean that construction delivery traffic approaching from the A30 does not have to pass through the village.
See our new page entitled Roadworks at Whiddon Down for further information.
ACTION FOR RENEWABLES PANORAMA REBUTTAL
Action for Renewables has produced a video rebutting the claims made in the BBC's recent Panorama programme "What's fuelling energy price rises?". The video is presented by the Chair of A4R, Tony Juniper, and can be found below:
12 May 2011 -
WINDFARM WARS DOCUMENTARY - FIND OUT MORE
RES has participated in the BBC documentary Windfarm Wars, the first episode of which is being shown on Friday 13th May. The series follows the development and planning of Den Brook wind farm over a number of years and shows the detailed process that wind farm applications have to go through, often with costly legal challenges and delays. It tells an interesting story about the debate that surrounds the development of renewable energy in the UK - the choices we have to make when balancing changes to the local landscape with addressing big issues like climate change and keeping the lights on.
We went to great lengths to consult openly and widely with the local community to develop a good, low-impact project with minimal impacts that could bring important economic and environmental benefits. To find out more, follow the Youtube link at the top of the page and visit our Den Brook Facebook page. There is also a lot of detailed information on the wind farm proposal on this website.
Media contact: Alison Jones, Community Relations Manager: +44 (0)1923 299328 |
11 December 2009 -
RES WELCOMES APPROVAL OF DEN BROOK WIND FARM
RES UK & Ireland has welcomed the Planning Inspectorate's decision today to approve the nine turbinewind farm at Den Brook in Devon following a second public inquiry into the scheme earlier this year.
Click here to read our press release (PDF)
23 July 2009 -
DEN BROOK WIND FARM PUBLIC INQUIRY COMMENCES
Planning Inspector to hear case for 9 turbines in West Devon
On the day that the public inquiry for the Den Brook Wind Farm starts in Okehampton, RES has given details of how the project will bring positive benefits to the local people of West Devon as well as to the wider environment.
24 March 2009 -
RELEASE OF NEW INFORMATION CONFIRMS DEN BROOK WIND FARM WILL NOT CAUSE A NOISE NUISANCE
RES has today released new data relating to the noise impact of the Den Brook Wind Farm proposed for North Tawton in Devon.
March 2009 -
Supplementary Environmental Information submitted to Planning Inspectorate
RES has voluntarily carried out further noise monitoring and is making this information available, together with wind speed data recorded at the site since August 2004.
July 2008 -
Noise Issue to be Resolved Fully at Den Brook Public Inquiry.
July 2008 -
Den Brook wind farm will not cause noise nuisance for local residents.
February 2007 -
RES WELCOMES APPROVAL OF DEN BROOK WIND FARM
The project will generate electricity equivalent to the annual needs of over 10,000 homes - or half of West Devon - and reduce emissions of carbon dioxide, the main greenhouse gas. It will also bring local benefits including a £27,000 a year community fund
November 2006 -
DEN BROOK WIND FARM WILL BRING ENVIRONMENTAL AND ECONOMIC BENEFITS TO LOCAL PEOPLE
On the day that the public inquiry for Den Brook wind farm starts in Okehampton in Devon, RES has given details of how the project will bring positive benefits to the local people of Devon as well as to the wider environment.
RES WELCOMES TOWN COUNCIL'S VOTE NOT TO OPPOSE DEN BROOK WIND FARM
RES has welcomed the decision last week by North Tawton Town Council not to oppose the Den Brook wind farm when it goes to Appeal later this year.
May 2006 -
RES TO APPEAL DEN BROOK WIND FARM DECISION
RES has announced today that it will appeal against the refusal by West Devon Borough Council in January this year of the Den Brook wind farm planning application. The proposed nine-turbine project will generate electricity equivalent to the annual needs of around half of West Devon and reduce emissions of carbon dioxide, the main greenhouse gas.
January 2006 -
DEN BROOK DECISION: A MISSED OPPORTUNITY TO TAKE POSITIVE ACTION ON CLIMATE CHANGE
The nine-turbine project would have generated electricity equivalent to the annual
needs of around half of West Devon and reduced emissions of carbon dioxide, the
main greenhouse gas.
August 2005 -
ASA RULES IN FAVOUR OF RES ON DEN BROOK WIND FARM BENEFITS
RES has today welcomed an adjudication by the Advertising Standards Authority (ASA)2 that public information circulated to local residents about the scheme was accurate.
September 2005 -
Harnessing the power of the wind at Den Brook
June 2005 -
DEN BROOK WIND FARM DEVELOPER RECOGNISED BY THE QUEEN
RES has won acclaim for its responsible approach to wind farm development and its commitment to the environment. The company has been awarded a Queen's Award for Enterprise in the Sustainable Development category - the most prestigious business award in the UK.