Safety fears have been raised over plans to build a 400ft wind turbine next to a quiet residential area.
Concerned residents packed a meeting yesterday to discuss the proposals to put the £2million turbine at Princes Soft Drinks factory in Weaverthorpe Road, Tong, Bradford.
It has been hailed as a 21st century landmark for the city and a way of dramatically cutting carbon emissions from one of the district’s major businesses.
But organisers of the meeting, at Tong Conservative Club yesterday, claim residents could be put in danger if the turbine is allowed.
They showed residents footage from the Youtube website of a similar – but smaller – wind turbine collapsing.
More than 60 members of the public heard concerns that in winter, ice could be hurled more than 150 foot at speeds of up to 150mph from its half-ton blades.
The noise would be as loud as a car travelling at 60mph, severely affecting residents living nearby, it was claimed.
Residents fear they will be subjected to light flickering through the blades into their homes during the day and could suffer nausea, dizziness and stress because of noise vibrations from the giant turbine.
Organiser Kevin Walton, of Rakes Lane, East Bierley, said: “It would be quite horrific having to live with that. The fire brigade says that the only thing they can do (in the event of an emergency) is to evacuate the whole area and wait for it to collapse.
“We shouldn’t be having this in a built- up area,” said Mr Walton.
Jo Tremere, of Toftshaw Lane, East Bierley, urged residents to write letters of objection to Bradford Council’s planning department. A decision on whether to permit the turbine – believed to be one of the tallest in Europe – will be made at a meeting next month.
Miss Tremere said it will be “impossible to live with” because of the constant noise from the turbine. She said: “We need to stop this by objecting. Nobody knows what it is going to sound like. Princes have done a noise survey taken from gardens around the site but even they don’t know exactly how noisy it is going to be. If I am listening to that every day and I can’t escape the noise, how can I work properly? There are children and families living around here. How are we supposed to live like that?”
Bradford councillors Michael Johnson and John Ruding offered their support to residents at the meeting. Councillor Ruding (Lab, Tong) said: “My view is that I am in favour of sustainable energy but I can tell you that, if I was on the planning committee, I would not support this because of the sheer size of it.”
The project has been shown to Bradford people at a series of road shows across the city. Residents have studied posters and graphics at exhibitions at Weaverthorpe Retail Park, Holme Wood Library and Asda at Rooley Lane. Princes reported positive feedback from residents.
Nobody was available for comment from the food manufacturer yesterday.
However, a spokesman previously told the T&A the turbine would be a “fantastic opportunity” to decrease its energy consumption by harnessing wind power.
He said: “This is an exciting project at a site which is a major employer in the region. We hope that our public consultation has demonstrated to people living nearby that this is a fantastic opportunity to secure power from a sustainable source at a time when all businesses should be reviewing their energy consumption.”
By Marc Meneaud
8 June 2008
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