Anger at potential pay outs by wind farms near Daventry

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Campaigners in several villages believe residents could lose out on thousands of pounds in community funds after a change was made to a Government policy.

Community Benefits are payments made by the operator of wind farms based on the amount of electricity generated, and given to local communities impacted on by the turbines.

Residents in Watford are angered by changes made to the updated protocol which has cut the amount of money that the operators of Watford Lodge Wind Farm, will be expected to pay.

Under a protocol set out in 2009 firms were expected to pay £1,000 per MW of power generated. Trade body Renewable UK updated that to £5,000 in 2013. Initially drafts applied the new policy to wind farms that reached ‘financial close’ after June 2013. Watford Lodge reached financial close in November 2014. However, the new protocol was altered before its official launch to apply to wind farms that were given planning permission after June 2013. Watford Lodge was given planning permission in December 2011.

The change means rather than falling under the £5,000 per MW regime, Watford would only have to pay out a minimum of £1,000 per MW.

Wind turbines at Winwick and Kelmarsh are also affected.

Blue Energy, the operator at Winwick and Kelmarsh has already said it will give £2,000 per MW.

A spokesman for the campaigners says after looking online, they believe Broadview Energy will offer the same level. They said: “We have done some analysis work to estimate the combined impact of this on the residents of Watford, Winwick and Kelmarsh over the next 25 years and the total sum likely to be lost to local good causes as a result is staggering.

“The headline conclusion is that these three small Daventry communities collectively stand to lose out on over £2.6 million of good works over the next 25 years!”