THEY have been a feature of Southampton’s skyline for the past four years.

These two wind turbines are a familiar sight for thousands of motorists who use Millbrook Road and Millbrook flyover every day.

But many have asked why the huge structures are never seen in action.

Now the Daily Echo can reveal the turbines, which are located in the Helical Trade Park on Third Avenue, could be torn down without ever having turned a blade.

The industrial estate’s owners are in talks with Southampton City Council in a bid to remove them.

Investigations by this newspaper have discovered that the turbines were positioned in the wrong place anyway, and the development of a nearby recycling plant has had an impact on the airflow, according to estate managers CBRE Global Investors.

The Daily Echo has learned the turbines were managed by a firm called Proven Ltd when they were bought at the end of 2009.

But the firm subsequently went into liquidation just months after they were built.

The business was acquired by a firm called Kingspan Renewables, which confirmed to the Echo it has never been responsible for maintaining the turbines.

Cllr Asa Thorpe, Millbrook ward councillor on Southampton City Council, said the dormant turbines were a “missed opportunity”.

He said: “Given the challenges that the country is facing at the moment with rising fuel bills and finding appropriate green energy, it certainly is a missed opportunity.

“It does look rather strange that it has taken four years for it to come to light.

“What I find odd is why they were there?

“It’s a shame we have something that is supposed to generate clean energy that has not worked out, but I don’t know why it hasn’t.”

Tom Pursglove, from anti-wind turbine pressure group Together Against Wind, said: “It’s very farcical. I would be interested to see if they have been given a subsidy.

“If they don’t come down they are just a scar on the landscape forever. It’s bizarre.”

A spokesman for Helical Trade Park managers CBRE Global Investors, which manages the site on behalf of the ICL Pension Trust, said: “The two wind turbines that are on the site have not been operational since purchase in 2009 and were managed by a firm who have subsequently gone out of business.

“CBRE Global Investors has been proactively working towards a solution on the turbines and have done thorough investigative work to find out whether it is beneficial to repair them.

“We have been told that the positioning of the turbines is not correct and there has also been a development of a recycling plant adjacent to the trade park, which will also impact the airflow.

“This means that not enough energy will be generated to make it financially viable to repair them.

“The council has agreed that we are able to remove them and we are in the process of finalising who will take them away.”

“There must be another suitable place in the city given our shoreline and the wind we have experienced in the last couple of days.

“The council is investing in green technology in a number of tower blocks, and that will be coming into the Millbrook ward.

“I would much rather have a wind turbine than a huge power factory putting out smoke and fumes harming people's health.”

Cllr Royston Smith, leader of the council’s opposition Conservative group, said: “This spans two administrations.

“Whenever I asked about it, it was always that something was going to be done about it.

More Environment stories: