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£1m of new turbine planning permissions for growing Earthmill

25th March, 2015

Yorkshire-based wind turbine specialist Earthmill is celebrating after its planning team successfully secured consent for three separate farm-scale wind turbine installations worth over £1m across the UK in just one week.

Earthmill, which has grown from a one-man operation that started in managing director Steve Milner’s garage in 2009, now employs 34 people at its head office in Wetherby, has now installed over 200 small scale turbines during the last six years.

The latest trio of turbines to be given the go-ahead are in Keighley in West Yorkshire, St Stephen in Cornwall and Kendal on the edge of the Lake District.

Sam Dewar, senior planner at Earthmill said: “There is a growing recognition of the important role played by the small-scale wind turbines that are being installed across the country, both in terms of the contribution they make in reducing the UK’s reliance on fossil fuels, but also the opportunity they offer farmers to diversify and gain a valuable – and sustainable – additional income stream.”

He added: “Although relatively small farm-scale turbines are embraced by many people, the journey to successfully gaining planning consent to install a turbine can be a long and arduous one and it’s essential to have an experienced team on your side.”

From left: Sam Dewar, Jessica Clare: senior planners at Earthmill
From left: Sam Dewar, Jessica Clare: senior planners at Earthmill

Earthmill’s three latest turbines to be given consent encountered a variety of obstacles along the way, including a lengthy public consultation process in Cornwall that saw over 50 emails and telephone conversations exchanged with the local residents, parish council, ward councillor and the local school. The turbine position also had to be relocated twice before submission.

Added to this, concerns over the noise of the turbine’s blades meant that Earthmill’s planning team had to work with the local environmental health officer on a weekly basis to amend its ‘noise report’ no fewer than six times.

Terry Fort of Brighton House Farm, Keighley, said: “Earthmill’s planning team have the experience to know that it is worth seeing a project through and that, with know-how and tenacity, planning hurdles can be cleared. We were really impressed with their willingness to go the extra mile for us during the whole, complex process.”

He added: “We are over the moon to have finally received planning permission and once we get the turbine up and generating electricity it will help cut the farm’s fuel bills as well as enabling us to do our bit for the environment.”