A blade that flew off a wind turbine into a field earmarked for development could have killed someone, says a Copeland councillor.
The high winds were so strong last Thursday that an arm of the turbine at Seascale School flew off and landed 200 yards away in a field.
Concerned councillor David Moore said it was “potentially harmful” particularly as outline permission was granted six weeks ago by Copeland Council for 14 houses to be built on the site where the blade landed.
He said Seascale Parish Council and residents objected to the plans because the wind turbine is so close to the proposed housing development. But Copeland’s planning panel said there was no evidence the turbine was unsafe.
Coun Moore told The Whitehaven News this week: “The fact of the matter is there was no evidence then that they are unsafe. Now we know in extreme circumstances this can happen. If it’s happened before, it could happen again. This is the first time I have ever heard of a turbine blade flying off. It landed some 200 yards away and about 20 yards away from the road. The potential for harm is great,” he said.
He said fortunately on this occasion the two horses that graze on the land had stood close to the turbine for shelter and were unharmed.
Coun Moore raised his concerns at last week’s full council meeting, saying: “Members need to be aware that this circumstance has arisen. It’s happened here and it could have cost lives.”
Gillian Hartley, headteacher at Seascale Primary School, said the turbines are designed to work in high winds but last week’s weather was exceptional.
Mrs Hartley said: “It was extreme circumstances. Once the turbine is fixed it will be perfectly safe. The maintenance company don’t envisage it happening again.”
The turbine has been switched off because it cannot work with two blades and a maintenance company is going to the school next week to see how it can be repaired.
Mrs Hartley added that four staff cars were damaged by debris in last week’s storms, not related to the wind turbine damage.
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