Could time run out to repair a fire damaged wind turbine in Harrogate?

The owners of a fire damaged wind turbine near Harrogate are attempting to secure more time for repairs as a deadline looms which could see the land it stands on reinstated for agricultural use.

A fire broke out due to a technical fault at the wind farm in January this year
A fire broke out due to a technical fault at the wind farm in January this year

An application was submitted by developer, The Pegasus Group, to Harrogate Borough Council to alter a condition put in place when planning permission was granted in 2005 for the eight turbines at Knabs Ridge Wind Farm, located between Skipton Road and Penny Pot Lane.

If no electricity is produced by one of the turbines for a year it has to be removed, and the work to do this carried out within six months of this deadline due to the condition that is currently in place. The land this turbine was situated on would then be re-instated as agricultural grazing land.

However damage from a fire which broke out due to a technical fault in January is expected to take over 12 months to repair. It is argued this kind of situation could not have been anticipated when the condition was put in place and the visual impact it is meant to protect against would not be a factor.

In a report the Pegasus Group said: "In this instance the turbine has suffered such an extraordinary and major incident which means the repair is far more significant that could have been envisaged when drafting Condition 3 due to the sheer number of components that need to be replaced combined with the difficulties involved in the supply chain and the investigations into the cause of the incident.

They added: "Furthermore the visual effects that Condition 3 is designed to prevent will not materialise as the tallest parts of the structure (blades, nacelle and top tower section) have been removed awaiting replacement, whilst the middle and bottom tower sections have been removed."

The developer's report proposes altering this condition, extending the deadline to 24 months before a removal is required. This would give them a deadline of January 2019.