Regeneration in Pembrokeshire
Speaking at the recent meeting of the Pembrokeshire South East Energy Group Alex Allison, Community Regeneration Officer for Pembrokeshire County Council, explained to members present the scope of his remit in encouraging and supporting a wide range of sustainable community ventures.
Of vital significance was that such projects once established should be self-financing, freeing available finance for new embryonic ventures. Alex gave details of some of the exciting projects now in the pipeline. One was based at Angle Chapel Bay Fort where there was a very large collection of war memorabilia. It was hoped that this together with the Carew Control Tower and the Sunderland Flying Boat Project at Pembroke Dock would form the core of a National War Museum of Wales.
Other projects often involved the renovation and updating of village halls. All such projects had to originate within the community and show they could generate income. It was essential that users of these facilities should be involved from the outset. It needed to be clearly demonstrated that there was not only current but also future demand for these facilities. A classic example of where a community had benefited in this way was Jeffreyston with the new St Oswald's community hall. By embracing all available sustainable technologies substantial grant support had been forthcoming.
Alex went on to mention the proposed regeneration of the Regency Hall in Saundersfoot and was pleased to note that attention was being paid to sustainability in the current plans. Great emphasis was placed on this when grant funding was requested. A multi-user games area was also under consideration where solar lighting was being actively considered.
The wide nature of the support from the Community Regeneration Team was also explained. They could help with the drawing up of business plans, work on initial designs for building projects, liaise with planners, provide training courses, identify funders and give guidance on the completion of grant application forms. He stressed that they worked very closely with PLANED and PAVS. The value of the Community Regeneration service was demonstrated when it was realised that so far over twenty-five million pounds worth of grant aid had been brought into Pembrokeshire.
He pointed out that Pembrokeshire County Council actively practised sustainability. Rather than scrap redundant computers, these were now offered free to community groups ensuring both the continued use of perfectly sound equipment and saving the Council the cost of disposal. A 'win-win' situation. Amroth Village Hall currently had ten of these computers for use with computer classes.
Energy projects were also part of the Team's remit. These were in evidence in both social housing and district heating developments. Alex expressed great interest in the current energy survey being carried out in S.E. Pembrokeshire by the consultants Dulas on behalf of PSEEG. He asked to be kept fully informed of the progress of this survey and stressed that the Community Regeneration Team would give all possible assistance. He emphasised that if PSEEG were able to proceed with a community energy project, it could serve as a pilot for other communities.
The Chair thanked Alex for a most informative and interesting description of his work.
The meeting continued with the consideration of a report of the first meeting of the Group's officers with Andy Warrington, the Dulas consultant. All forms of renewable energy would be considered in the survey, though it was thought unlikely that tidal energy would prove feasible at the present time. More work needed to be done to offer a proven technology. Hydro and wind would probably be the front runners and if the latter, a small 330KW unit would apparently be the most acceptable.
Planning was proceeding for the Question Time Event to be held in the Regency Hall on the 29th January 2010. All four prospective parliamentary candidates had agreed to form the panel and the chairman would be Andy Middleton the well known environmentalist. Invitations to this event had already been sent to Saundersfoot Community Council and the Regency Hall Committee. Other groups would be contacted in due course. Members were reminded that though entry to the event was free, it would be by ticket only. Members of the public interested in attending should contact the Secretary on 01834 813839.
Members were reminded that the Wear Point planning application would probably be considered at the PCC meeting in January. This application if approved would result in the company, Infinergy, building four wind turbines on a brown field site near Milford Haven. It would produce about 10% of the domestic electricity used in Pembrokeshire with no CO2 emissions. The meeting wished it well.
The next meeting of the Group will be at 7pm on 21st January at the Regency Hall Saundersfoot.
|13th November 2009||Community Initiatives: Sustainable Wales leads by example|
|16th October 2009||Climate Change Challenge for Candidates & Micro-generation with wind turbines|
|2nd October 2009||A Visit to Castle Pill Wind Farm: Quiet blows the wind|
|11th September 2009||Renewable Sustainable Energy: An Energy Survey for South East Pembrokeshire|
|10th July 2009||A talk by Lorraine Dallmeier of Infinergy: Wind Power - Pembrokeshire's Potential|
|12th June 2009||St. Oswald's, Jeffreyston - Pembrokeshire's Beacon of Sustainability|
|24th April 2009||Solar Panels: Three Cheers for Sunny Pembrokeshire|
|13th March 2009||Ashton Hayes Community Energy Reduction & Hot Water From the Sun|
|13th February 2009||Could Pembrokeshire go carbon neutral?|
|14th November 2008||Environment Wales to provide 'Start-Up' Funding for PSEEG|
|17th October 2008||PSEEG to become a Registered Charity|