HSE investigating how wind turbine came to crash down
THE Health and Safety Executive (HSE) has launched an investigation into the collapse of a 35-metre wind turbine.
The turbine at East Ash Farm in Bradworthy was erected in 2010 by Dulas Ltd. But on Sunday it crashed down into a muddy field.
Dulas boss Sanjay Bowry said: "We can reassure the local community that due to the isolated location of the turbine, no one was put at risk and we are currently working hard to establish the precise cause of the incident.
"Our technical team is working alongside the turbine manufacturer to conduct a full investigation.
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Dulas has never had a turbine collapse before. It was unable to confirm when the turbine will be operational again.
The Endurance Wind Power E-3120 turbine, which was the first model of its kind to be erected in the country, has a five-year warranty.
It is believed the turbine collapsed during high winds on Saturday night.
But Bradworthy Parish Council, which is against turbines in the Bradworthy area, does not believe the weather was that extreme.
Councillor Keith Tomlin, said: "The collapse of the less than three-year-old wind turbine occurred during a night of unexceptional weather for the area.
"We are relieved no one was injured, but had this happened in daytime there was a chance of injury to workers on the farm where it was located or to the public on the road nearby.
"Of greater concern is that Torridge District Council has recently approved the erection of a second turbine of the same size and manufacture at this location that would have been closer to the public road."
"A number of similar turbines have been approved and erected locally and the safety of these turbines must now be questioned, together with that of the much larger ones that have also been approved but not yet built.
"This incident must be a wake up call for Torridge District Council in their policy towards wind turbines."
Penny Mills from the Campaign to Protect Rural England Torridge Group said: "We've all seen pictures of turbines in different parts of the world which have collapsed or have burst into flames, but when its closer to home like this, right here in Torridge, it raises a lot of questions."
On Twitter people shared news of the collapsed turbine.
@putfordpom wrote: "Turbine down due to record high winds & sheered bolts. Unprecedented."
The owners of East Ash Farm were given planning permission for the second turbine of the same make at Torridge District Council planning committee's meeting in December.
Joanna Maynard, from Stags acting as an agent for the farmers, said at the meeting the extra turbine would mean the farm's 350 dairy herd could increase by 200. The turbine will only be 130 metres from the nearest property, rather than the distance of 385 metres stated in the planning report.
The Journal has been unable to contact the owners of East Ash Farm.