Anti-wind farm campaigners have refused to accept the explanation given by Scottish and Southern Energy after construction of the Drumderg wind farm hit trouble from the off.
Plans for the £30 million, 16-turbine site were given the green light after a public inquiry, despite a flurry of objections from local residents.
Work got off to an ignominious beginning, however, as the first of the nacelles (the huge central tower of a turbine) became marooned halfway up the C446 road last month.
Strathmore councillor Dennis Melloy, who lives in Alyth, called for a “full investigation” after the road was closed near Drumderg.
And there were suggestions from Perth and Kinross Council colleague Caroline Shiers that the massive nacelle had become stuck on the route.
She said she had previously warned the road was unsuitable.
Scottish and Southern Energy (SSE) however condemned the claim and yesterday reiterated that the trailer carrying the nacelle had simply broken down.
“This was simply a breakdown, nothing more than that,” said SSE’s Sharon Miller-McKenzie. “It could have happened anywhere.
“Thankfully the break-down did not occur on the motorway, but it is unfortunate that it happened at all.
“Our project manager is simply gutted that the work started with this misfortune.”
Ms Miller-McKenzie said she hoped a line could be drawn under the matter.
Nonetheless, resident Norman Bailey, one of the closest to the wind farm site, contacted The Courier to dispute SSE’s statement.
“SSE claims the equipment was never abandoned, but after being informed by the police that there was no reported problem on this road my wife and I attempted to go to Alyth for shopping,” he said.
“The road was blocked near the Alyth Burn by a turbine nacelle on a trailer.
“There was no engineer or anybody else associated with SSE anywhere to be seen.
“The fact is the load was abandoned during the afternoon of Friday 21.
“The road was closed for over 24 hours and even after it was cleared a local resident had to remove the road closed signs.”
Mr Bailey also backed-up Councillor Shiers’ claim that the trailer had become stuck on the road rather than having broken down.
“I photographed it after the road had been blocked for well over 12 hours,” he said.
“The photo clearly shows the trailer is stuck on the road, the surface of which had been damaged.”
By Mark Mackay
2 January 2008
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