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Turbine campaigners claim falling icicles are a danger

Environmental campaigners fighting plans for wind turbines in Blackrod say the scheme should not go ahead – in case people are injured by icicles forming on the blades and falling to the ground.

They have also claimed council planners should refuse the plans because golfers would use the turbines for target practice.

But those behind the plans for the two twin bladed turbines at Douglas Valley Golf Club in Blackrod have refuted the claims by Blackrod and Horwich Environmental Action Group.

The group has listed a number of objections including noise and the close proximity to homes, the visual impact, safety and health concerns.

In a letter, submitted to Bolton Council, the group says: “Two immediate concerns are considered. The turbine blade will protrude 15m over the top of a footpath 6m away.

“If icicles form on the blade, this will create a health hazard to users of the footpath. Our understanding is guidelines state the turbine shall not oversail a public footpath.

“Target practice, there is a risk (however unlikely), that the moving blades will be used as target practice by golfers. The blades will only be 15m from the ground at their lowest point.”

The group also says that there is a “significant amount” of evidence regarding the health impacts of wind turbines created by low frequency sound. There is a bill, which has had its second reading in the House of Lords, to prevent the siting of turbines within 1km of residential properties.

But planning consultant Steven Hartley, speaking on behalf of the applicants Paul and Julie Downes, hit back at the claims.

He said: “There is no evidence of people being hurt by turbines, but if it is a real concern a condition could be applied for them to be turned off when the weather is such that icicles could form. But I think people can be rest assured that it is not a serious likelihood. Turbines will not dominate the landscape”.