Residents and villagers have raised grave safety concerns after a wind turbine “fell over” in a North Devon village – warning there could be a fatality if this happened again.
A wind turbine at Little Dowland, Dinworthy in Bradworthy, “fell over” less than a couple of weeks ago, with Torridge District Councillor, Alan Whittle, and nearby residents questioning what had happened to the 35-metre wind turbine.
Mr Whittle said he planned to fight for all other wind turbines in the area to be safety checked.
Sarah Payne, who lives 320 metres from the turbine, said: “The wind turbine fell over at Little Dowland sometime around January 3. As far as I am aware the Health and Safety Executive will not be investigating this incident as no one was injured or killed.
“All we have are a few photos of a rusty blade being lifted into a lorry and the lorry leaving the site.
“This turbine has only been operational since October 2012, so should it be so rusty?
“There are many of the same models of this turbine in the parish, some much closer to buildings and roads.
“Next time someone could be injured or even worse killed.”
Mr Whittle said he has been promised a copy of a safety report detailing the fault and he has requested all other wind turbines are safety checked – something the company who are responsible for the turbine, Endurance Wind Power, has assured him will happen.
Mr Whittle said Endurance told him there was a technical fault with the turbine.
“We have almost 100 wind turbines dotted around the Bradworthy area and I found out a lot of these are under the responsibility of Endurance.
“I have been assured that the other turbines will be checked but I will be making sure this happens – I will not be letting this go,” said Mr Whittle.
Back in 2013, Endurance Wind Power, the company which made an E3120 turbine at East Ash, in Bradworthy, held an investigation after a 111ft (34m) turbine crashed to the ground on farmland – less than three years after it was commissioned.
Paul and Sarah Thomas, who live close to the turbine, contacted the Journal and said they were confused by the term “technical fault” and wanted answers.
Sarah added: “Our concerns for whatever reason it collapsed is that it is the second one of that make to keel over, within a close area and there is another just up the road that is very close to the public highway. It doesn’t bear thinking about if a blade flew off that one.
“One thing that had been noticeable recently is that it sounded like it was making a scraping noise as it turned, perhaps questions should be asked about when it was last serviced as I thought this had to be annually.”
The Journal has contacted Endurance for a comment.
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