Second turbine proposal takes shape

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Lancaster University’s campaign to invest in alternative energy sources for campus has been revised and resubmitted for planning permission.

The proposal was submitted on October 13, planning a wind turbine to be built on the University’s Hazelrigg site, to the east of the M6 motorway.

A briefing note from the University on both the previous plan and the current resubmission outlined the effectiveness of the project. “The turbine would produce approximately 17% of the University’s annual electrical power requirements, equivalent to two thirds of the residential requirements of all students who live on campus.“

Last year a proposal to set up two turbines on the same site was voted against by Lancaster City Council. The decision, which at the time prompted talk of a potential appeal, saw the project revised to include just a single 100m high turbine on the site.

The briefing note commented on the previous proposal. “After carefully considering the Council’s feedback on the previous application, the University has decided not to appeal this application,” it said.

The previous proposal, while appearing to be out of favour with local residents, was a close decision, with the Council receiving 287 letters objecting to the plan and only slightly less letters supporting the plan, 232 in total. Halving the number of turbines proposed could see the minor difference in opinion reversed, the University hopes.

“Lancaster University believes that by submitting a new application for just one turbine (in the same location as the previous north turbine) and omitting the south turbine, the previous concerns of Lancaster City Council can be addressed, and any visual impact will be significantly minimised,” read the briefing note.

The University is looking to work closely with LUSU to promote and gain support for the proposal. On Friday Week eight LUSU President Robbie Pickles met with Director of Facilities Mark Swindlehurst to discuss the proposal and how the two bodies can work together to publicise it.

The turbines are not the only way the University is implementing more eco-friendly technology. The briefing note said there are “a number of other major projects to reduce its [the University’s] carbon emissions, such as replacing its main boilers, and installing a Combined Heat and Power (CHP) Unit and it has plans to install a biomass boiler.”

The reviewed proposal, and the optimism with which both the University and LUSU are treating it, is aimed towards high profile support. “The University is therefore encouraging supportive members of community to express that support, by registering at www.yes2wind.com/locator/directory/lancaster-university.”

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