Draft PPS18: Renewable Energy
Annex 3 Case Studies: The Village of Carno, Powys
3.7 The planning permission for Carno Windfarm included the offer of community benefits from the developer, Npower Renewables (formerly National Windpower). This was incorporated, along with payments initially linked to bio-diversity monitoring, into a “section 106” obligation and the annual payments have been administered by the two local community councils. This is not untypical of many wind farms in Wales.
3.8 The Fund is managed by an Executive Committee who under the terms of the constitution of the Trust are also the members of Carno Community Council. The constitution, which is recognised by the Charity Commissioners, sets out how the Trust will operate in terms of members, co-opting people, financial regulations, what can and cannot be done to enhance the status of the fund. There is also a set of rules which in summary, deny grants to political organisations, for repairs or the purchase of second-hand equipment but otherwise any one who lives in the Carno electoral district can apply with each case treated on its merits. The Trustees meet approximately once a month to consider applications. These are co-ordinated through an administrator who vets the application to ensure all correct documentation and information has been supplied in support of the application. In recognition of the agreement with Npower Renewables, the Trust and individual recipients of grants do have to agree to co-operate with any publicity that might be requested. The Trustees organise an annual press event at which the work of the Fund is promoted.
3.9 A total of 113 grants have been awarded, the majority of those made to individuals having been for educational purposes. The Fund does have a policy of making a payment to all students from Carno who have been accepted at universities/colleges and this also applies to those undertaking nursing and other courses relevant to the furtherment of an individual’s career. Help has also been given to members of the Young Farmers Club to attend international rallies, and to the WI who send members on courses at Denham College.
3.10 The Fund has also been, and remains, very sympathetic to the needs of the local school which has been helped through grants to improve the facilities it can offer. The prime example of this was a grant towards a computer suite. This has in turn made it possible to run a range of adult computer courses in the evening, and the Trust helped individual attendees with a contribution towards their registration fees. The football and bowls clubs have received grants for new equipment and facilities and more recently grants from the Trust have helped the formation of very successful Gardening and Quilting Clubs. The grants helped them overcome the burden of their initial set up costs.
3.11 The Community Centre has also benefited from the Trust. A good example has been grants towards the costs of ensuring the catering facilities are of the highest standard. This is important to the Centre as a large proportion of the income it raises itself is through the offering of a conference/meeting venue which is able to cater for delegates. The Trust paid for a Food and Hygiene course that ensured the people providing the catering held the relevant certificates. A regular contribution is made to a club that helps Carno senior citizens through the provision of a place to meet and through the arranging of excursions.
3.12 Energy Issues. A more recent development has been the establishment of the Mid Wales Community Energy Trust, which has strong links with Mid Wales Energy Agency but is a separate entity. The Community Energy Trust has been able to draw in funding from various sources (including Npower Renewables) and is proposing to set in train a “Green Village Project” utilising the skills of the Energy Agency to identify opportunities for energy efficiency and small-scale renewable energy developments in Carno and other local villages. Monies from the fund and other available sources will be used to help implement the identified projects. An important point here is that money from wind power developments is usually able to be used as match-funding for grants from other sources.