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Refurbishment to include solar panels and wind turbines

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Hammersmith and Fulham Council are set to grant planning permission for a multi-million pound refurbishment of the Edward Woods Estate in Shepherd's Bush.

The £12.2 million scheme will see all three of the 1960s tower blocks fitted with solar panels on the south-facing facades, nine-metre high wind turbines installed on the roofs and white, insulated cladding to keep in the warmth.

It is thought the new eco-features will reduce residents' heating bills by up to 72% and the architects say the electricity generated will also help power the blocks' lifts, communal lighting, door entry systems and CCTV.

“We are predicting that the renewables will account for 25-30% of the landlord's supply,” said Mark Elton of ECD Architects.

According to the architects' website, 'Building Design', the scheme will be the "largest expanse of solar panelling in London".

As well as the energy-saving features, new office space will be created on the ground floors of the blocks and it is envisaged this will be used by charities. In addition, the refurbishment will also include the construction and sale of 12 penthouse apartments to help pay for the project.

The news comes amid a row over the future of council housing in the borough with critics accusing the Council of wanting to knock down homes on council estates and replace them with homes primarily for sale.

Cllr Lucy Ivimy, Cabinet Member for Housing, said: "This is a unique and exciting scheme which I am very happy to support. It will save energy and the eyecatching design will make the estate a more welcoming place to live. It's a major scheme, I'm not aware of anything else on this scale in London and it's exactly the kind of creative scheme that we encourage."

17 July 2009