Campaigners fighting plans for a highly controversial windfarm in the countryside near Ceres have claimed that there are “significant errors” in an environmental statement submitted by applicant EnergieKontor.
Yesterday the Ceres and District Environment and Amenity Protection Group said that under-estimates of the amount of concrete needed for the five 80 metre high turbines could lead to as much as a 200% increase in heavy goods vehicle traffic during the construction period.
The group said that it had drawn the council’s attention to underestimate of concrete for the turbine foundations, and it has pointed out that a recent council assessment of traffic movements to and from the site did not consider this, and is likely to be incorrect.
“Each foundation requires a huge amount of concrete which would come as ready mix from plants as far away as Kirkcaldy or Newburgh.
“It is concerning to note that in the Environmental Statement the estimations of construction traffic generation have been provided by EnergieKontor UK Limited and not by independent consultants.
“The applicant has stated that only 106 loads of concrete would be required for the foundations for the five turbines which would indicate a total of around 325 tonnes per base.
“However calculations done using the typical base detail and a description of the bases in the ES give a more realistic figure of between 700 and 1000 tonnes which would mean that the applicant has underestimated the concrete by at least 100% and probably more like 200%.
“This has a huge knock on effect on the increase in the number of road traffic movements through Ceres and Pitscottie, remembering that every lorry movement on to site is another lorry movement off site”
The group said that the environmental statement notes that a 10% increase on a lightly trafficked route may not represent a significant capacity issue, but could be considered to have a major environmental impact.
“The roads to the site, while well used, could be fairly described as lightly trafficked and the impact of the increase in HGV traffic over the numbers indicated by EnergieKontor would have a major capacity and environmental impact.
“In our view this would also take the traffic generation beyond the criteria where effects and impacts can be considered ‘acceptable'” said the group.
“It also means that Fife Council’s assessment is likely to be incorrect as it was made without consideration of this information”
Yesterday EnergieKontor said that it had no immediate comment to make, but the figures would be passed to engineers for double checking.
Fife Council said yesterday that development services have been made aware of the traffic movement issues that had been raised.
“We investigating this and discussions are ongoing at present” said a spokesperson.
24 April 2008
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