Worried residents concerned over damaged roads due to windfarm
WORRIED residents are voicing their concerns about the damage being done to their roads while a windfarm is being upgraded.
Furness Wind Farm, which is being spread across two sites, is a project that took almost eight years to be approved.
The development is replacing the existing Harlock Hill Wind Farm, near Ulverston and extending the site to include an area of land adjacent to the existing windfarm, known as Mean Moor.
Work began in December and is expected to finish in a couple of weeks.
People who live nearby have watched the heavy wagons drive up and down the country roads and claim that serious damage is being done to them.
Joanne Benson, from Horrace Farm said: "All the wagons and the crane are causing a lot of damage to the Keswick to Barrow road.
"These roads were not built for the amount of wagons that keep coming up and down.
"The road is now crumbling away."
Councillor Helen Irving, who sits on both Ulverston Town Council and South Lakeland District Council has pledged her support to the residents affected.
She said: "I think the impact this work is having on the roads is terrible.
"After being up with here with Joanne and seeing the speed that some of these wagons go at is worrying.
"They need to ensure that they intend on resurfacing the road once the windfarm is complete."
The windfarm has been owned and operated by the community-based Baywind Energy Co-operative since 1997 and the upgrade is a partnership project with wind developers Infinergy.
The windfarm is replacing five existing turbines with five new, more powerful ones.
The wind turbines will be 99.5 metres high each and capable of producing 2.3mw of power - which could quadruple the site's electricity production.
A spokesperson for wind developers Infinergy said: 'When constructing a wind farm we put in a lot of effort to ensure the local road network is used responsibly.
"We work in close cooperation with the relevant authorities and obtain all necessary permits and licences before any transport is undertaken.
"A lot of work has been carried out to improve the roads so they can deal with our construction traffic and ongoing surveys are undertaken.
"We will be submitting a roadwork reinstatement proposal to the highways authority in due course. As responsible developers we take our work very seriously and we ask that any evidence of damage is submitted to the proper authorities so that it can be thoroughly investigated through the established formal channels."