Residents say ‘yes’ to wind turbine on Hackney Marshes

Residents have overwhelmingly said ‘yes’ to the idea of having a wind turbine on Hackney Marshes to generate green energy.

In response to Hackney Council’s recent public consultation, 87 per cent said they were in favour of the proposal.

The Olympic Delivery Authority (ODA) is already going ahead with one wind turbine on Eton Manor in Waltham Forest, and as part of this there is an opportunity for Hackney Council to install a second wind turbine at East Marsh to generate local renewable energy as part of the legacy of the 2012 Games.

If a wind turbine is put on East Marsh, the two wind turbines together could generate enough green electricity to power Hackney’s main council buildings and nearly all of its street lighting.

Jules Pipe, Mayor of Hackney, said: “At the beginning of the consultation I said that, although I was enthusiastic about the idea, it would be for Hackney residents to decide if the proposal was to be taken forward. As 87 per cent are in favour, of the more than 700 people who took part, the Council will now look at the next stages to make this idea a reality.

“Although minimising energy usage is the highest priority, this is an opportunity to generate truly local green energy to power things for the community. It would also deliver a further cut in carbon emissions, helping to keep Hackney one of the greenest boroughs in London.”

Mayor Pipe added: “A key stage to come will be for any chosen turbine operator to satisfy the planning authorities that there will be a minimal impact on the environment, such as wildlife.”

The Council is expecting to be able to purchase energy at a cost lower than traditional sources, such as coal. The Council also expects to receive rent for the land the turbine would occupy, which would be invested in sports facilities on the Marshes.

The Council will now begin a procurement process with the aim of buying power generated by both turbines, for up to 25 years.

If a good deal can be secured for Hackney, the Council will move to the next stage. The chosen turbine operator would then have to submit a detailed planning application for the proposed East Marsh turbine, giving residents a further chance to comment.