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Ellesmere turbine could be a danger to drivers  

Credit:  Shropshire star | August 7, 2014 | www.shropshirestar.com ~~

Plans to build a giant turbine in the Shropshire countryside could be thrown out after a local highway authority said it could be a danger to drivers.

The proposed 327ft (99.7m) wind turbine in Tetchill, near Ellesmere, has caused outrage from hundreds of local residents who say it would create a huge eyesore.

But as an objection from the Developing Highways department of Shropshire Council has been submitted, proposals for the turbine have a good chance of being thrown out.

The highways department highlighted concerns over the possible distraction it could cause to drivers on the A495.

Subject to the national speed limit, the road is prone to people overtaking, and it is feared a giant turbine could make things even worse.

Mark Wootton, area manager, said that because of vegetation and trees blocking giving a intermittent view of the turbine, it could become a dangerous distraction.

He said: “If drivers are able to view the wind turbine from a distance over a continuous length of road, the distraction to a driver is minimised.”

But as this is not the case, he said the level of distraction would be “greater and more harmful”.

Recommending the council object to the proposal, he said the turbine could be an “unwarranted distraction to drivers whose attention should be directed at the prevailing highway and traffic conditions”.

And Mayor of Ellesmere Town Council, Alan Clarke, said he agrees that the large structure could add an extra danger.

He said: “It’s already a dangerous road, there are dips in the road and it would be in full view at parts.

“There have been fatal accidents on the road and to add yet another distraction just seems wrong.

“It it silly to even consider the large turbine in view of the fatal accidents that have already been there.”

Similar fears have also been raised by local residents, who worry that the turbine could increase the risk of road accidents.

Katy Yates, who works on the nearby business park, said: “I am concerned that this will act as a distraction for drivers heading to Oswestry.

“I turn daily out of the business park and am frequently greeted with drivers not paying attention to the roundabout, adding a huge wind turbine will distract drivers with the potential to cause more accidents.”

Also concerned about the effect it could have on motorists, David Wild said: “The A495 would be less than 500 metres north of the proposed turbine.

“It would add further distraction and possible flicker to an already dangerous road which has hidden dips, junctions and fast sections making it very dangerous.”

Planning agents Intech Clean Energy, who have submitted the application on behalf of farming family Seven Sisters, have not highlighted that this will be an issue.

The supporting planning statement said: “The nearest public road to the proposed wind turbine is Ellesmere Road which is a single lane country track located 140m at its closest point to the west of the proposed wind turbine.

“All clearances between public routes and the proposed wind turbine are much greater than those required by the Councilʼs Highways Development Control Team and therefore the development is believed to be appropriately sited with regard to this material consideration.”

The energy firm have stated that the turbine could generate 1,400MWh of energy each year – enough to annually power 280 homes.

It would be removed after its 25 year term.

Source:  Shropshire star | August 7, 2014 | www.shropshirestar.com

This article is the work of the source indicated. Any opinions expressed in it are not necessarily those of National Wind Watch.

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