Draft PPS18: Renewable Energy
Annex 1 Wind Energy Planning Issues: Construction and Operational Disturbance
A114. The degree of disturbance caused by the construction phase of a wind farm will depend on the number of turbines and the length of the construction period. Public perception of the construction phase will derive mainly from physical impact and traffic movements. The traffic movements to be expected will involve:
- vehicles bringing aggregate to the site including concrete for foundations;
- vehicles removing spoil from the site;
- vehicles (which may be articulated) bringing turbine components to the site;
- the vehicles of those working on the site; and,
- the crane(s) to erect the turbines.
A115. Although construction traffic for a wind turbine development will essentially be no different from other developments, many turbines will be sited in areas served by the minor road network. In such cases, it may be necessary to impose suitable conditions on consents or enter a legal agreement with the developer to control the number of vehicle movements to and from the site in a specified period and, where possible, the route of such movements, particularly by heavy vehicles. Further requirements for strengthening bridges may also be required by the DRD Roads Service. Where culverting of any watercourse under site roads is planned, the provisions of Planning Policy Statement 15 Planning and Flood Risk will be taken into account. Consent from the Department of Agriculture and Rural Development’s Rivers Agency will also be required.
A116. Once turbines are in operation, traffic movements to and from the site will be very light, probably averaging two visits a week by a light commercial vehicle or car. The need to replace machine components will generate heavier commercial vehicle movements, but these are likely to be infrequent.