HEAVY construction traffic for a controversial windfarm development is damaging rural roads nearby, which could cost more than £200,000 to repair, it has been claimed.
Concerned Coun Glen Sanderson has criticised the amount of vehicles going to and through the Wingates site, near to Longhorsley.
He says they are causing ‘havoc’ to roads in and around the village and has questioned whether developer Infinis has made suitable arrangements for transport routes.
Coun Sanderson said: “Although this windfarm development is not in my patch, my residents are suffering because of it.
“For months now, they have had to put up with lorry after lorry carrying gravel, concrete, and other materials.
“Residents along the Bywell and West Moor roads in particular have borne the brunt of traffic, as well as those in the village itself and small roads around Longhorsley.
“Everyone knows the difficulties around onshore windfarms, but the effect on rural roads during the construction stage has maybe not been considered sufficiently during the planning stage.
“The problem is not just about noise and nuisance, it is more about the damage caused to already vulnerable road surfaces and verges.”
Coun Sanderson, of Chevington with Longhorsley ward, said he has met county council officers to establish who will pay for the repairs and fears that the cost will exceed £200,000.
He said there were potholes throughout the county and the last thing that was needed was ‘even more heavy traffic on small rural roads’.
Permission for the six, 110-metre-high turbines was given in 2011. Construction began in the summer. The site is due to be operational in the spring.
An Infinis spokesman said: “We have engaged with the local council on these issues and a Section 278 highway agreement is in place.
“It covered the installation of around 15 new passing places on the approach to the site and the upgrade of specific corners as well as a particularly difficult part of the route to facilitate access for the turbine deliveries.
“These have been done under the agreement with the local highways department.”