Don't miss a story sign up to the North Devon Gazette's FREE daily newsletter CLICK HERE

Wind turbine built in wrong place is ‘too close’ to road, warns MP

PUBLISHED: 07:00 14 February 2017 | UPDATED: 09:58 15 February 2017

The turbine at Blagdon Cross, near Holsworthy, was built closer to the A388 than agreed by Torridge District Council. Picture: Contributed

The turbine at Blagdon Cross, near Holsworthy, was built closer to the A388 than agreed by Torridge District Council. Picture: Contributed

Archant

Blades are within ‘topple distance’ of road but experts say there is more chance of getting struck by lightning than being killed by falling turbine

Planning permission is being sought for a wind turbine built in the wrong place.

The 77-metre-high turbine at Blagdon Cross near Holsworthy was built closer to the A388 than agreed by Torridge District Council – and is now within ‘topple distance’ of the road.

The turbine at Nethercott Farm is 60m from the centre of the road, some 56m short of the minimum distance advised by the Highways Agency.

It is one of three granted planning consent in July 2014. Two were built in 2015 and the third was constructed last summer. All three are understood to be operational.

The turbine at Blagdon Cross, near Holsworthy, was built closer to the A388 than agreed by Torridge District Council. Picture: Contributed The turbine at Blagdon Cross, near Holsworthy, was built closer to the A388 than agreed by Torridge District Council. Picture: Contributed

The blades would hit the road in the event of collapse and it is assumed that any impact on a car or person would cause a fatality.

Torridge and West Devon MP Geoffrey Cox is among those who have written to the council to express concern over the position of the turbine, as well as second turbine positioned 80m from the road.

He said: “In their current position, they pose a significant threat to road users, as the distance is not sufficient to prevent the turbines from landing on the road in the event that they should fall over.”

But risk experts consulted by Green Cat Renewables on behalf of the applicant said there was more risk of getting struck by lightning than killed by a falling wind turbine.

The report submitted to the council by MMI Engineering said the risks were ‘well-within the broadly acceptable range’.

A spokesman for Green Cat Renewables said: “Unfortunately there were some administrative errors which resulted in the turbine being unintentionally positioned closer to the road than consented, although it is within the approved planning application boundary.

“As part of the application to vary the consent, consultants were commissioned to assess the likelihood of a fatality on the road caused by mechanical or structural failure of the turbine.

“The chance was calculated at one in 41.5 million per year, which lies well within the lowest risk category defined by the Health and Safety Executive.

“By comparison, the risk of a fatality from being struck by lightning is one in 18 million, which is 2.3 times more likely than the possible risk posed by the turbine.”

But the district council will have the final say on whether the development is acceptable in the new location.

A spokesperson for the council said the application was in its very early stages and a 13-week determination period would end on April 19.

He said: “The planning officer will wait for consultee responses before reviewing the relevant files

“Such applications would normally be delegated decisions, but that depends whether there is a member call-in.”

Comments have been disabled on this article.

Other News Stories

13:18

The Prince of Wales and Duchess of Cornwall arrived in Barnstaple this morning (Thursday)

Read more
16:42

Pictures by Graham Hobbs and John Fisher of the visit of Prince Charles and the Duchess of Cornwall to Barnstaple Pannier Market

Read more
15:00

Gazette reporter Matt Smart gives beekeeping a go at Quince Honey Farm

Read more
07:00

A ‘call for sites’ from North Devon and Torridge district councils starts today (Thursday).

Read more
Yesterday, 16:53

Their Royal Highnesses will call in at Barnstaple Pannier Market for their first engagement of the day

Read more
Yesterday, 14:49

Contractors yet to decide if planned road closure will take place tonight after a new footbridge was meant to be craned into place over the A39 last night (Tuesday) but a lightning storm stopped it happening.

Read more
Yesterday, 12:15

The challenge launched in Barnstaple on Saturday, with more than 500 signing up.

Read more
Yesterday, 11:48

Police are appealing for witnesses after a man was assaulted by an ‘unknown group of men’ outside of the Sticklepath garage in Barnstaple.

Read more
Yesterday, 11:33

Facebook panic over claims two dogs had died after poisoned ham was deliberately left at Instow Beach

Read more
Yesterday, 11:16

Former pupil donates money after finding unsupported employment in Barnstaple

Read more

Local Weather

Partly Cloudy

Partly Cloudy

max temp: 17°C

min temp: 14°C

Most Read News

Useful Links

Advertise in the paper
Submit a Story
Subscribe to the paper
Competitions
North Devon Football League
Order Photos
Family notices
iwitness24
Facebook
Twitter
Google Plus Page
Reader Travel

Family Notices 24

Read Online

Image
Read the North Devon Gazette e-edition E-edition

Newsletter Sign Up

Sign up to receive our regular email newsletter
HOT JOBS

Show Job Lists

Local business directory

North Devon's trusted business finder

Find planning applications