The collapse of a 35-metre high turbine near Holsworthy has sparked rumours over sabotage by anti-turbine protestors.
The turbine at East Ash Farm, in Bradworthy, collapsed in the early hours of Sunday morning and both the installers of the turbine Dulas Ltd and the Health and Safety Executive have confirmed investigations are underway.
The proliferation of turbines in the Bradworthy area means there is a lot of ill feeling towards the structures and the parish council has a policy of refusing each turbine application that is brought before them as consultees
Margaret Coles, the chairman of Bradworthy Parish Council, said that there have been a number of rumours flying around the area since the incident happened.
She said: “People that end of the parish were woken up by the crash it made when it came down. Some people think the bolts had been removed from the turbine which is why it was brought down. Others have said they saw charring on the turbine so they think it caught fire or was set fire to.
“But we are not experts, we don’t know what happened and we want to find out. I think Torridge District Council should be investigating it too because they are the authority who grant permission to these turbines. They should want to find out more about the safety of them before they make further decisions on turbine applications.”
But Torridge District Council has confirmed it won’t be investigating the incident as the turbine is not a building and so cannot be investigated for contravening building regulations.
TDC spokesman Ian Hayter said: “If the turbine had been half blown down and was considered dangerous to the public then building control may have gone out to the site but as it is we haven’t and we haven’t been contacted about it.”
Another Bradworthy Parish Councillor Keith Tomlin thinks the collapsed turbine is very concerning considering a similar model collapsed in Shropshire last year.
He said: “This is the most common type of turbine approved or in operation around here which leads to concerns about their safety.
“Short answer is that these turbines are designed to withstand winds of 116 mph (ref Endurance website) and the after-cast winds for this area for Saturday night were 50 mph according to the Met Office.”
Dulas confirmed the turbine did not catch fire and they have never experienced a similar incident.
They did not want to comment further at this stage.
The police confirmed they have not been involved with the collapsed turbine except to deal with sightseers at the scene who were blocking the road.
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VIDEO: The wind turbine at East Ash Farm before it collapsed: