Anger has been voiced after it emerged a company which built a wind farm in Northumberland has only paid £14,000 towards road repairs. Full Report Click Here
Every day we hear of problems with these massive loads blocking roads, causing chaos and getting stuck. What is not quantified is the damage that is done on the long term basis to roads that were never designed for this level of wear. In this case 6,500 heavy vehicles. Our own experience suggests that these transport forecasts are vastly understated and don’t account for the often frenetic driving of workers and subcontractors on local rural byeways. Have Councils accurately forecast the impact? From experience it is often the case that planning officials and some councillors are so blinded by the developers and their myopic understanding of the quasi ‘benefits’ of wind that they only account for road widening at junctions, created to benefit the developers and without which no turbines could be delivered. Long term degradation is simply passed off as going to happen anyway so cannot be blamed on a short term impact. Point should be that the community has a right to expect that the roads should be in as good or better state than before,otherwise the cost falls on the limited resources of the Councils which means that other services suffer.Whilst I am not suggesting that this is a post wind farm photo in all circumstances, in fact this may be the pre wind farm in many, it is a fact that should this be a supermarket or a housing development a figure for planning gain would be imposed on the developers to improve the infrastructure, even to the extent of new road junctions and roundabouts, and that money would be lodged with the council BEFORE the development commenced. This has nothing to do with Community Benefit and unlike the voluntary contribution of ComBen is a legally binding charge. Instead of £14,ooo it would be certainly in the hundreds of thousands if not millions.