Crida Wind Co-operative aims to establish a single medium-scale turbine on a windy ridge 3 miles west of Bridgnorth in Shropshire.
This is an incredibly exciting project which Sustainable Bridgnorth is proud to support! The turbine will provide clean, green electricity; it will be owned by members of the community – and becoming a member is open to everyone; in addition, the project will generate a small income stream which will pay into a community fund.
Please support our planning application when it goes live – click here to go direct to Shropshire Council and support us or see our Support page for more information. Our planning application reference is 15/00532/FUL.
VOTE HERE – We will soon be launching a survey to identify which would be the most popular Shropshire cause for the turbine to support. Please look out for this and make sure you support your favourite.
We have updated these pages to reflect how the project will work with a single medium scale turbine.
Please also check the answers to frequently asked questions about wind turbines. Sadly, there are many myths about turbines which continue to circulate.
Main points about the project:
* This is not a ‘developer’ project! The turbines will be 100% owned by Crida Wind Co-operative, which anybody can join with a minimum investment of £100. The income from the turbine will return to the members of the co-operative and to an annual community fund of approximately £10,000.
* The site and turbine have been carefully chosen to minimise impact on landscape, wildlife, noise and other concerns.
* We estimate that the turbine will produce around 6% of the electricity used by households in Bridgnorth
* This is a joint project between Sustainable Bridgnorth (a voluntary group committed to reducing CO2 emissions in the Bridgnorth District) and Sharenergy (a not-for-profit co-operative based in Shrewsbury)
* Tackling climate change is a very important issue – not only are 97% scientists in agreement, the most recent IPCC report makes alarming reading. Shropshire is not immune from the effects of climate change. See this report by Natural Resource England for detailed information on the impacts expected locally.
This single turbine is one way for the community of Shropshire to play their part in providing an alternative to fossil fuel power plants which contribute to greenhouse gas emissions. Of course, saving energy, such as by insulting our homes, also has a contribution to make, though we won’t stop further climate change through energy saving alone.
Similar turbine. Photo credit – Dirk Ingo Franke
So this story is unrelated to the turbine, however, many people who support renewable energy are concerned about fracking.
It has also been commented by an opposer that there are no fracking plans for Shropshire and so no alternatives are needed. This isn’t quite the case….
More information is in the following Shropshire Star article.
Sharenergy and Sustainable Bridgnorth have resubmitted a turbine planning application this week for the Crida Community Wind project. Sustainable Bridgnorth is a local organisation, run by volunteers, which had previously applied to install two turbines on land near Meadowley (3 miles west of Bridgnorth).
Similar turbine. Photo credit – Dirk Ingo Franke
Following objections, the application was re-examined to see if there was any way to reduce the perceived visual impact on the landscape, nearby heritage features, and leisure interests. The planning application has been amended and resubmitted to the Council for fresh consideration this week. The updated application is for a single 500kW medium scale turbine. The community owned turbine would be expected to generate enough energy every year to provide the electricity for around 240 of Bridgnorth’s homes.
Spokesperson and Chair of Sustainable Bridgnorth, Bob Ensum, said “We have listened to concerns and substantially reduced the plans. We are delighted that we have been able to find a proposal which, if successful, will allow residents of Shropshire to own their own source of renewable energy generation. Anybody in Bridgnorth, or Shropshire, will be able to become a member and help purchase the turbine. Members will also have a vote on how the community fund it generates is spent.”
Jon Halle, from Sharenergy, commented “Crida Community Wind is very different from a developer-led project where turbines are installed for profit. It will be a community owned turbine so not only will members have a say in the running of the project, but the funds earned will be kept within the community. Similar community projects are popping up around the UK, such as Dingwall wind, which we helped get running last year.”
Sharenergy is a cooperative based in Shrewsbury which assists community groups to create and run community owned renewable energy schemes across the UK.
Crida Wind Co-op has decided to withdraw the planning application for 2 turbines.
We received a copy of the planning officer’s report late last week… just over a year after submitting our application. You can read it here. Unfortunately they have recommended the project for refusal and we have accordingly withdrawn it.
The report makes very interesting reading. The officers agreed with us that the turbines would create no unacceptable impacts on local residents in terms of noise, health effects, road access and property values, and that they would not cause problems for bats, birds, or other creatures or users of public rights of way. The officers report also drew attention to the unusual level of support for the project – it is very rare for more than a third of public comments about a a wind project to be supportive. The statutory consultees confirmed that the turbines would not pose a danger to aviation or to the view from the Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty. We were glad to note that English Heritage and Shropshire Council concurred that the effect on cultural heritage and landscape would be less than ‘significant’.
All in all the bulk of of the report backs up what we have been saying about the turbines. We do hope that some of the more outlandish fears expressed, and indeed stoked up, by others have been shown to be insubstantial.
However the report concludes that the impact on cultural heritage and landscape outweighs the benefits of the project in terms of renewable energy generation.
We don’t agree. We don’t think that a small amount of impact on the setting of historic buildings is a good enough reason not to build locally-owned renewable energy generation.
However under the circumstances we see that there is no realistic chance of approval at committee and have withdrawn the application. The planning system gives relatively little weight to the importance of carbon reduction and none to the desirability of community-owned energy, despite the emerging support for the latter in the Government’s Community Energy Strategy. We look forward to the day when public understanding of the dangers of climate change push the balance in favour of community renewable energy in this county and country – and we’ll continue to work to bring it forward.
The UK lags behind Europe and the West Midlands region lags behind all other UK regions in the development of renewable energy. We’re working hard on other technologies but wind – particularly onshore wind at medium scale owned by local co-ops – is one of the most effective and proven technologies and will undoubtedly be part of the eventual sustainable mix. You don’t have to look far for evidence that wind works – just look to Scotland which is closing in on 50% renewable electricity this year (most of which is now wind power) and where the Sharenergy-supported Dingwall Wind Co-op is now up and running – owned by 170 people, 90% of whom are local.
Sharenergy Co-operative and Sustainable Bridgnorth would like to thank the 300 local people who have supported us in public and the many others who have expressed support in person. We will be reconsidering all our options with Crida Wind – including a possible altered application if this proves feasible.
We just heard that our application for the Crida application was validated by Shropshire Council – that means it is now in the planning system. The Government said today that they want more community benefit from wind turbines – well how about 100% community owned?
It would be great, particularly if you live in Shropshire, if you could spend a minute posting a supportive comment. We know there is a lot of support but we need to actually show it! The link is here
If we can get these 2 turbines built, they will be the first in the West Midlands and set a great precedent for locally owned power.
On Tuesday 29th November the local planning committee approved the temporary application for a wind monitoring mast at Criddon Hall Farm.
The met mast installation started on site on 8th December but due to high winds had to be completed the following day.
Noise monitoring work by an independent acoustic consultant will be starting shortly.
We’re holding an Open Day at Criddon Hall Farm, WV16 6UJ on Saturday 15 October 2011
Presentations at 11.00 am, repeated at 2.30 pm By Clive Millington of Criddon Hall Farm and by Crida Community Wind
Exhibition 10.30am-4.00pm and an opportunity to ask questions about the project to build 2 community-owned turbines on Clive’s land.
Visits to the proposed site (weather permitting) and views from the farm
Meet some of the local people behind the project and learn how you could join the co-operative.
The exhibition will provide a chance to examine the planned wind turbine location and its visual impact on the landscape, the feasibility studies already carried out on ecology, noise, ‘flicker’ etc and learn about the investment opportunities available. Members of Sustainable Bridgnorth, Sharenergy and the consultants who undertook the analysis of the project will be on hand to answer questions
8th July at Chetton Village Hall, 3.30 – 8.30pm
12th July at Bridgnorth Town Hall, 3.30 – 8.30pm