Safety review at Yorkshire wind farm after debris falls from turbine onto footpath popular with dog walkers

A parish councillor has called for a “full and thorough” safety examination, after a wind turbine suffered “catastrophic failure”, shedding debris on to a public footpath.

The damage to the wind turbine (Pic: Coun Kevin Osbourne)
The damage to the wind turbine (Pic: Coun Kevin Osbourne)

Councillor Kevin Osbourne, of Little Houghton Parish Council, has written to EDF Energy to demand that a safety investigation is carried out on the three turbines at Park Spring Wind Farm.

Residents reported hearing a loud bang on Friday afternoon (March 12), as debris was flung from the blade on to a public footpath which is popular with dog walkers.

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The site is also close to the ASOS warehouse – one of the largest employers in the area.

Coun Osbourne says it is lucky that no-one was injured, and that the paths have now been closed to the public by Barnsley Council.

Coun Osbourne, who is also standing as Darfield’s Labour candidate in May’s election said: “I am seeking safety assurance as the turbine is only six years old. This shouldn’t be happening. It wasn’t that windy, it was a blustery day. Debris is still hanging from the blade.”

In his letter to EDF Energy, who operate the wind farm, Coun Osbourne wrote: “Given the Park Spring Wind Farm’s location close to popular public footpaths, a major road and large distribution warehouse, may I ask you also publicly share the reasons for this blade failure, coming as it did only six years into the working life of the wind farm.

“I would also ask that a full and thorough safety examination of the remaining two towers on the Park Spring Wind Farm be performed immediately to identify any similar faults.”

Piero Maggio, director of asset operations at EDF Energy said: “We are working closely with the manufacturer of the turbine, GE Renewable Energy, to look into exactly what has happened to the damaged machine at Park Spring. Already we have stopped the remaining two machines from operating until we know more.

“The damaged machine is cordoned off as are surrounding footpaths and we would like to thank the local community and the ASOS warehouse for their co-operation.

“We will only restart the two other turbines once we are satisfied they have been thoroughly checked and are safe. We would be happy to speak to the local councillor about his concerns.”