Controversial plans for a giant wind turbine to be constructed on Hackney Marshes have been abandoned due to a lack of funds.
Hackney council proposed that the 120-metre structure could have helped to power the borough’s main council buildings and a large proportion of its streetlights.Jules Pipe, Mayor of Hackney, said: ‘We’re disappointed that the current economic situation has resulted in the banks making it more difficult for electricity generation companies to borrow the money they need to build such turbines.
We will continue to explore options for generating green energy, and we hope to be able to revisit the idea of a turbine in the future.”
The news has come as a disappointment for many residents in London’s ‘greenest borough’, who for years have been advocating environmental sustainability on a local level.
Anna Hughes, a spokesperson for Hackney Green Party said: “It would have been a significant step in reducing Hackney’s carbon emissions. Investing in green energy now will give economic and environmental returns in the future, and coupled with the loss of the Olympic wind turbine at Stratford, it makes the fight for green energy production longer and more difficult.”
The Olympic wind turbine was planned as a symbol of a ‘green olympics’ which would have provided 20% of the olympic site’s energy needs after the games finished. It was scrapped after new safety rules and design changes made it “unfeasible” according to the Olympic Delivery Authority.
From December to January last year a public consultation was conducted in the Hackney. It found that 87% of people were in favour of the Hackney turbine project as a means of cutting carbon emissions and attracting financial investment.
However, only 700 Hackney residents contributed to the survey and for many the news of its cancellation brings great relief.
Hackney Marshes have been the training ground for talented local footballers for generations. The proposed turbine would have destroyed the few pitches that have so far been left unscathed by Olympic development.
Johnnie Walker, chairman of Hackney and Leyton Football League, said: “That’s one bit of good news. I’m really pleased. We have already lost tons of space – we have lost pitches left, right and centre. There is major disruption around the Marshes.”
Similarly, Andrew Boff, Hackney resident and Conservative London Assembly Member was pleased that the project had been abandoned.
He said: “Whilst the capital costs for establishing large scale wind farms make good financial and environmental sense, one large turbine in isolation really isn’t viable and smacks of “greenwash”. It makes better sense for Hackney to buy green energy off the grid.”