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RIBA scraps turbine plans after failing to find sponsors

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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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