An application for planning permission for Wingate Grange Wind Farm was submitted by Infinis to Durham County Council in August 2012.
The site is to the west of Wingate, approximately 4.5 kilometres (km) south-east of Peterlee and accessed directly from the A181. Currently the land is open farmland with isolated parcels of wooded land. The proposed development would see the installation of 5 wind turbines, with a tip height of 115m. The final choice of wind turbine will not be made until a consent is in place, but the development would have a capacity of between 10 and 12.5MW.
Two rounds of exhibitions were held, each preceded by a newsletter, prior to the planning submission, the first on 20, 22 and 23 September 2011 and the follow up on 29 and 30 March 2012 at Trimdon Station, Wheatley Hill and Wingate.
Since submitting the application, Infinis have continued to engage with the local community to make sure people know about the plans.
Infinis have also worked hard to identify how the Community Benefit could best be focussed should the wind farm be consented.
Community leaders and local residents agreed that the biggest challenge for the local communities is the high level of unemployment in the area. With this in mind, and in close consultation with key stakeholders, Infinis has developed an Employability Fund concept. This would see the community benefit fund associated with the project focussed on helping people of working age to gain qualifications and experience to allow them to get into full time work.
This concept was tested at a third round of exhibitions held at Trimdon Station, Wingate and Wheatley Hill on 2nd, 3rd and 4th April 2014. The feedback received was overwhelmingly positive and since then additional work has further refined how the fund would work. To ensure the successful delivery of this program, Infinis has agreed a partnership with East Durham College, the leading local further education provider. A copy of the memorandum of understanding between the two organisations can be downloaded from this site.
With a proposed community benefit fund of £5k per MW per year should the wind farm be consented, a potential £62.5k per year and over £1.5m over the lifetime of the project will be available to the fund. Infinis’ research concludes that this could improve the skills and opportunities of at least 500 individuals during the lifetime of the wind farm, which will lead to a meaningful legacy for the communities hosting the development.
On Monday 13th October, a procurement event was held to launch a procurement guide produced in conjunction with Durham County Council's Business Durham and Procurement teams and the North East Chamber of Commerce, and designed to help build awareness of the opportunities for local businesses should the wind farm be consented. The aim of the guide is also to help prepare local businesses to tender for any business opportunities that arise. Over 40 business repesentatives attended and a copy of the guide can be found below.
Other documents associated with the proposals can also be downloaded. A copy of the Non Technical Summary of the main planning documents (including drawings showing the site location and turbine layout) can be accessed below. Also available is the Statement of Community Involvement, and a report from the IPPR North, commissioned by Infinis, to assess the economic and social impact of the Wingate Grange wind farm in further detail. The full planning document can be viewed on the Durham County Council planning portal under the reference number CMA/5/40.
If you are interested in the plans for Wingate Grange wind farm, or have any comments or queries, you can contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org
- Employability fund brochure
- Memorandum of understanding
- Statement of community involvement
- Economic and social impact report
- Newsletter September 2011
- Newsletter March 2012
- Scoping report
- September exhibition board part 1
- September exhibition board part 2
- March exhibition board
- Non technical summary
- Site location
- Infinis Procurement Guide