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Compound proposal upsets peaceful cul-de-sac

People living in a quiet cul-de-sac near Abbotsham are outraged they could have five lorries passing their homes an hour as part of the proposed Atlantic Array wind farm.

The developers behind the proposed offshore wind farm RWE Renewables want to build a works compound in a field next to the cul-de-sac Knotty Corner.

This would mean up to five lorries an hour would be passing the thatched cottages while the construction of the wind farm is on going.

Adrian Blight, 53, has lived at Knotty Corner all his life but is now concerned his home will be invaded as a result.

He said he only found out two weeks ago from the owner of the field who asked whether he knew.

Mr Blight, who is a caretaker for Torridge District Council, said: “I should not have to hear from him, there should have been much more information from the developers.

“They told us it was information available from July last year but as people living so close we should have been consulted.

“We were all under the impression that it was coming straight off the A39 but apparently it is highways who have said this is the preferred option.

“I am worried about the impact on the houses, they haven’t been built to cope with that kind of weight coming past. I am going to write to Devon County Council.”

Robert Thornhill, the Atlantic Array development manager at RWE, said the company was working with the county council to ensure the works’ access is not through Knotty Corner.

He said: “We have asked the council to confirm that they agree with this change in writing and expect that the access point via the old A39 road will be removed from the final application once we have received that confirmation.

“This has already been explained to a number of residents in the area.

“Unfortunately the draft environmental statement was already being printed while talks were continuing about direct access to the site which is probably why questions are now being raised about Knotty Corner.

“The compound would be used to store materials, provide welfare facilities for workers such as a temporary building to wash their hands and a place to do any paperwork needed.

“There is no intention that any workers will be housed there.

“The compound will be in use during standard work hours for construction.”

RWE has confirmed it is estimated there will be around 80 light vehicle movements and 40 HGV movements per day associated with cable route construction and drilling operations combined.

The cable route works in this area would last approximately six months, while the drilling operations, which involve two HGV movements and around ten light vehicle movements per day, would last around 24 weeks.

The county council said it now intends to scrap the idea of using Knotty Corner.