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Fear of turbine falling onto road put brakes on scheme

Plans for a wind turbine will not go ahead after councillors agreed it would be a danger to drivers because it might “fall over” onto a main St Austell road.

The application for the 80kW wind turbine almost 40 metres high close to the A391 was refused at Cornwall Council’s central sub-area planning committee last Wednesday.

Plans for the turbine at the industrial site Enterprise Park, Carclaze, were first proposed two years ago.

Originally recommended for approval, the planning application has been back and forth between planning committee and planning officer after the “fall over” details were submitted.

The details prompted concerns that with the wind turbine just 41.3 metres from the edge of the road – following a decision to widen the road for bus passing lanes – it posed a danger to drivers.

Independent councillor Mike Varney, Falmouth Boslowick representative, said that with the road earmarked for extension, the siting of the wind turbine “would make it much more dangerous”.

The report also said that it would be close to two new industrial buildings including St Austell Print Offices’ new base, which are under construction following previous planning permission.

Planning officer Michelle Billing told committee members “circumstances had changed” since the application was first proposed in March 2010 and that, in line with policy, the wind turbine was no longer a safe distance from the road.

The “visibility impact potential was also a key issue to this application”, she added.

Treverbyn Parish Council and Campaign to Protect Rural England (CPRE) had already raised their concerns.

CPRE argued it would be a major distraction to drivers and Scredda residents would have to put up with noise and flicker caused by the blades.

There were also dangers from the wind turbine’s rotor blades disintegrating and falling ice, it said.

Six letters of objections against the application were also received.

Conservative councillor Mike Eathorne-Gibbons, representing Ladock, St Clement and St Erme, said it was clear the wind turbine was “too big and too close”.

Independent councillor Fred Greenslade, for St Dennis, agreed.

Drivers, especially when leaving the roundabout, and the public, would be blighted by the wind turbine, he added.

Meanwhile while vice-chairman of the council, Conservative John Dyer, the Chacewater and Kenwyn representative, said: “I would not want to work in that building and have this monstrosity in front of me.”

Members were unanimous in their vote to refuse the application.