‘Goods news’ that Hackney Marshes wind turbine will be scrapped, say footballers

But green campaigners disappointed

CRIES of joy and disappointment greeted the town hall’s announcement that plans for a wind turbine on Hackney Marshes to generate green energy after the 2012 Games have fallen flat.

Mayor of Hackney Jules Pipe admitted this week that the council had shelved proposals for a 120-metre turbine on the spiritual home of grass roots football due to lack of investment from electricity companies.

Town hall bosses had backed the idea because it would have allowed them to cut carbon emissions and collect rent for the land.

Mischa Borris, Green councillor for Clissold ward in Stoke Newington until the May elections this year, said the news that the turbine would now not go ahead was “very disappointing”.

“Investing in renewable energy shouldn’t be regarded as something that can be jettisoned in a recession,” she said. “Climate change isn’t going to go away, and the longer we leave taking effective measures, the more we will have to do to combat it.

“The wind turbine would have made a significant contribution to reducing Hackney’s carbon emissions.”

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Hackney Green Party co-ordinator Anna Hughes added that the turbine would have created economic as well as environmental gains.

The decision to drop the scheme follows a public consultation in late 2009 when 87 per cent of those who voted were in favour.

The council had also pledged to press on with the plans despite the Olympic Delivery Authority’s decision in early June to scrap a second turbine to the north of the 2012 site in Eton Manor.

But football bosses, who had protested loudly against the proposals’ impact on the dozens of teams that use the Marshes every Sunday, were celebrating this week.

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.”

Mayor Pipe 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.”