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Wind turbines disappear from Palestra roof

The wind turbines on top of Will Alsop's Palestra building in Southwark, south London, have been taken down less than five months after being installed.

Eyewitnesses say the 14 roof-top turbines, which have now been removed leaving a set of sad-looking poles on the building's roof, stopped spinning before Christmas.

The building's occupier, the London Development Agency (LDA), has confirmed to the AJ that the turbines have had to be taken down for safety checks following calls from the manufacturer.

Billed by the chief executive officer of the London Climate Change Agency, Allan Jones, as 'the first project of its kind in the UK' the turbines only began turning back in November.

Together with new photovoltaic panels, the £436,000 scheme was expected to reduce the building's CO2 emissions by 3,300 tonnes during its lifetime.

However the high-profile project has got off to a shaky start.

Explaining the decision to take down the turbines, a spokeswoman for the LDA said: 'The micro wind turbines on top of Palestra have been recalled by the manufacturer following a fault found in a single earlier turbine elsewhere in the UK.

'Although the turbines had been working properly, the London Climate Change Agency has taken the precaution of responding to the manufacturer's recall.'

It is understood the turbines are due to be re-installed 'in around a month's time' following the checks.

by Richard Waite

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