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RIBA scraps turbine plans after failing to find sponsors

The RIBA has ditched plans to erect two temporary wind turbines on the roof of its Portland Place headquarters, designed to serve as an ecological exemplar.

The move - which follows a three-year battle to win planning permission from Westminster City Council - is a direct result of the well-publicised cashflow crisis at the institute.

The institute's vice-president for sustainable futures, Bill Gething, told the AJ that the decision was not taken lightly. 'They cost £70,000 and, given the current state of the RIBA's finances, we could not realistically spend that much, ' he said.

'We have tried to find sponsors to pay for the project but, like ourselves, they thought £70,000 for the one-year life of the turbines was a little too much, ' he added.

'We may yet look at other options, such as photovoltaic cells, but they are certainly not as demonstrable.'

However, a RIBA spokesman insisted that the institute had not given up hope. 'The planning permission lasts for five years, so we have a while to find a sponsor yet, ' she said.

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