Energy bosses have managed to put the wind up villagers – before a series of giant turbines have even rumbled through their hamlet.
Contractors working on behalf of Scottish Power Renewables sent a large lorry through Cliviger, ahead of plans to ‘repower’ Coal Clough Wind Farm.
But the ‘West of Scotland Heavy Haulage’ vehicle, which had a police escort, encountered difficulties in Red Lees Road, Overtown, and had to be disassembled to negotiate the hamlet’s tight turns.
Coun David Heginbotham, who represents Cliviger, has questioned where this leads the delivery project, which would see the wind farm’s existing 24 turbines replaced by eight 110-metre high alternatives.
Angry neighbours have always insisted that taking lorries through Overtown, en-route to a new access road leading to Long Causeway, was a recipe for disaster.
But the energy giant has insisted the ‘dummy run’ was a sensible precaution, which is undertaken as part of any major wind farm project.
Coun Heginbotham said: “People couldn’t believe what they were looking at – it was obvious from the start that this was going to be a difficult situation.”
Villagers then saw the shortened lorry being redirected back down Red Lees Road to the Long Causeway junction which it managed to navigate.
That decision not only raises concerns over whether the access road beyond West View is needed but also whether the firm will now consider sending lorries through Mereclough, according to Coun Heginbotham.
Dee Salmon, who lives on Red Lees Road, said: “Residents have asked all along why they could not airlift these components to the site.”
A ScottishPower Renewables spokesman said: “The test run this week was a very carefully managed and deliberate exercise to fully examine all of the pinch points for turbine deliveries “We carry out these tests precisely to ensure there are no unforeseen issues when construction work begins.
“This bend was a well-known pinch point, but the information we received this week will ensure that a solution can be put in place that means turbine deliveries will be managed safely with as little disruption as possible.”
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