WIND farm developers have been granted planning permission for a new access track so they can take delivery of the huge turbine components needed for a scheme near Lowick.
Force 9 Energy is due to start construction of its six-turbine scheme at Barmoor during the first half of 2013, a process likely to take about five months. It secured permission for the 110m tall turbines on appeal in 2010 after the Government overturned Berwick Borough Council’s original refusal of the application.
It had originally planned to bring the turbine parts from Tweed Dock to the farm site. However, a driver making a test delivery found it difficult to negotiate the double bend on the B6525 at Barmoor Lane End where there was a stone wall on one side of the road and cottages on the other.
Although he was eventually able to complete the manoeuvre, the company decided to revise its intended route and take turbine parts via Wooler and Doddington instead which has required a second access track at Barmoor Red House Farm.
Force 9 is still seeking to develop the original access track, so that the extendable vehicles can return to Berwick using the shorter route once they have made their delivery and been reduced in size. The new access track will be 1.3km long.
A report by Force 9 explained: “The highways assessments used in the permitted application were based on a turbine with a blade diameter of 80m as that was both the most likely choice at the time and gave acceptable yields.
“Since planning consent was granted at appeal and as the scheme draws closer to construction stage, a wider range of turbine options is now available and consideration of a wind turbine with a 90m blade diameter (but still fitting within the overall consented blade tip height) has been given.
“A turbine with a 90m blade diameter has the potential to provide a higher electrical yield from the wind on the site. A higher yield provides a greater contribution to efforts to meet climate change targets.
“To deliver each turbine to the site, the tower is delivered in parts and assembled on site. Each blade, however, is a single structure and has to be delivered in its entirety. With each blade now measuring 5m more than previously assessed, it is not possible to utilise the original access route.”