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Castle Point Council plan for green power to help save £8k on electricity bill
THE £4million revamp of a popular leisure centre could be made a shade greener following plans to install its very own wind turbine.
Waterside Farm Leisure Centre, in Somnes Avenue, Canvey , is undergoing a multimillion-pound refurbishment to enable the Seventies-built facility to last at least another 20 years.
Bossees say energy efficiency has been at the heart of the renovation, with improvements including installing a more efficient heating system and a new ceiling in the pool, to reduce the amount of heat which escapes through the roof.
Castle Point Council has submitted an application to build a 65ft high wind turbine 70m away from the centre, in an effort to cut running costs and make the sports complex more self-sufficient.
If approved, the wind turbine, which would be a sixth of the height of those found on a wind farm, would save £8,000 and cut carbon emissions by an estimated 12.6 tonnes a year.
Pam Challis , leader of the council, said: “I do think we need to be seen to be greener, and it has always been one of my aims to lead the way in that respect. “It takes a lot to heat the leisure centre, particularly the swimming pool, so the renovation of Waterside Farm has always been centred on making the building as energy efficient as possible.
“I would like to stress this wind turbine is not going to be in people’s faces, but would be extremely beneficial. “We have looked at all the statistics, and we believe the savings in costs and carbon emissions will make it a worthwhile project.”
Electricity generated from the turbine would first be used to power the leisure centre, with any surplus energy exported to the National Grid.
Escalating running costs and council budget cuts had previously put the refurbishment in jeopardy, with councillors even being forced to consider scrapping the swimming pool altogether last year.
However, following four years of stringent cost-cutting and investment from Veolia Pitsea Marshes Trust, the council announced earlier this year it would save the centre and splash out £4.1million.
Work is scheduled to finish in April and will include a new open-plan glass entrance, extensive interior redecoration, redesigned changing rooms, and a new community and conference hall.
Plans for the wind turbine will go before the council’s development control committee for a final decision in the next few months.
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