Fears of ‘significant traffic congestion’ on the A381 if a planning application for two wind turbines at Torr Quarry gets the go ahead have been dismissed by the company involved.
The application was made to South Hams Council by Pegasus Planning Group on behalf of ClearWinds Ltd.
But Richard Howell, who lives near North Huish, warned: ‘Residents can not only look forward to the sight of two 256ft high wind turbines dominating the South Hams skyline for many years to come, but also three or more months of significant traffic congestion on several of our major roads.
‘In addition to ‘standard’ 40ft or 60ft articulated lorries delivering plant, machinery and materials, the turbine components themselves are to be transported to the site on abnormal load vehicles.
‘In their design and access statement the developers admit this ‘will require careful thought and planning’.
‘Temporary “improvements”, they say, may be made to the verges along the route to prevent deterioration of the road infrastructure, and additional passing places are to be constructed at strategic points along the proposed access road.
‘Leaving aside the damage these works could cause to long-established banks and hedgerows, such activities are likely to result in additional delays and congestion, both before construction begins and after it ends.
‘According to the developers, all materials and components are to be transported to the site along the A38 from Exeter before exiting on to the A384 at Buck-fastleigh, driving down through Riverford, and turning on to the A385 at Dartington.
‘The loads will then continue onwards towards Totnes, past KEVICC, turning right on to the A381 to travel through Harbertonford and Halwell.
‘As anybody who drives these roads knows, they were never meant to be navigated by 60ft-long articulated lorries, let alone abnormal load vehicles.
‘The damage and many months of disruption this development will inevitably cause will benefit nobody apart from the promoters and the landowner in question.’
The traffic and transport report logged with South Hams Council as part of the planning application says that eight abnormal loads will be required to deliver the components for a single turbine – a total of 16 deliveries.
But, responding to Mr Howell, William Clare at ClearWinds, said: ‘A traffic and transport report has been undertaken as part of the planning application to assess the potential for any transportation effects associated with the construction of two wind turbine generators.
‘The only significant effect to traffic, as a result of a wind farm construction, is due to the movement of heavy goods vehicles.
‘However, the transport effects associated with a two WTG construction are modest in scale and duration.
‘Once the WTGs are operational, the amount of traffic associated with its operation is minimal.
‘The potential effects of HGV traffic associated with the proposed WTG construction has been assessed in relation to existing traffic flows.
‘The project would add no more than 13 per cent to the average HGV flows on the A381 on days when movements are at their peak – about a two-week period during stone and concrete deliveries.
‘This 13 per cent rise in HGV flows is below the 30 per cent figure detailed in the ‘Guidelines for the Envir-onmental Assessment of Road Traffic’.
‘This effect is therefore considered insignificant in both the scale and the duration.
‘It is recognised that the delivery of the WTG components will require careful thought and planning.
‘Additionally, given the nature of the size of these components (abnormal loads), it is likely that there will be a requirement for a civil or police escort.
‘Each delivery vehicle would follow a pre-determined route and the times can be arranged so that minimal disruption is caused to other road users.
‘The planning application has been submitted and all documents are available from South Hams Council.’
Comments on the application reference 08/1968/12/F can be made via the South Hams Council website until September 28.
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