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Ministry of Defence shoots down wind turbines plan

Plans to build two huge wind turbines in the Fen countryside have been thrown out - after the Ministry of Defence (MoD) warned they would put air safety in danger. The blades of the identical turbines at French Farm, Thorney, near Peterborough, would have reached 100 metres high, and despite being 16 miles from RAF Wittering and 23 miles from RAF Cottesmore, the MoD objected on safety grounds.

Objections from the RAF, which flies Harriers from nearby RAF Wittering, means the wind turbine proposal for Thorney has been rejected.

Plans to build two huge wind turbines in the Fen countryside have been thrown out - after the Ministry of Defence (MoD) warned they would put air safety in danger.

The blades of the identical turbines at French Farm, Thorney, near Peterborough, would have reached 100 metres high, and despite being 16 miles from RAF Wittering and 23 miles from RAF Cottesmore, the MoD objected on safety grounds.

Officials claimed the tips of the blades would be "in the line of sight" of both the air traffic control (ATC) radar at Cottesmore and the Precision Approach Radar (RPAR) at Wittering.

In a report to Peterborough City Council's planning committee, a spokesman said scientific trials suggested the probability of detection of aircraft by the air traffic control system would be adversely affected, although the likelihood of it contribiting to an air accident would be small.

But as far as the radar at Wittering was concerned, the spokesman added: "The turbines will be detected by and displayed on the RPAR, and additional plots/tracks caused by the... more [truncated due to possible copyright]  

Objections from the RAF, which flies Harriers from nearby RAF Wittering, means the wind turbine proposal for Thorney has been rejected.

Plans to build two huge wind turbines in the Fen countryside have been thrown out - after the Ministry of Defence (MoD) warned they would put air safety in danger.

The blades of the identical turbines at French Farm, Thorney, near Peterborough, would have reached 100 metres high, and despite being 16 miles from RAF Wittering and 23 miles from RAF Cottesmore, the MoD objected on safety grounds.

Officials claimed the tips of the blades would be "in the line of sight" of both the air traffic control (ATC) radar at Cottesmore and the Precision Approach Radar (RPAR) at Wittering.

In a report to Peterborough City Council's planning committee, a spokesman said scientific trials suggested the probability of detection of aircraft by the air traffic control system would be adversely affected, although the likelihood of it contribiting to an air accident would be small.

But as far as the radar at Wittering was concerned, the spokesman added: "The turbines will be detected by and displayed on the RPAR, and additional plots/tracks caused by the turbines could cause the RPAR to overload and reject aircraft.

"This would have a significant adverse effect on operations at RAF Wittering and implications for air safey gererally."

Ironically, the applicant, Cornwall Light and Power Ltd, had been granted permission to build two slightly smaller turbines on the site way back in 1993, but had never carried it out.

However, development manager Steve Allen said those models were no longer available and it had to submit a fresh application for a new design.

He said the turbines would generate five times more electricity and, although the new turbines were taller than the originals, there would be no overall difference to radar at RAF Wittering when compared to the initial ones, which won approval.

He said: "We strongly contest that the MOD will face additional operational difficulties. They say the risk of an air accident is very small."

He also said the wind farm would bring huge economic and environmental benefits.

However, committee member councillor Chris Ash said the planning officers' report made the MoD's case much more strongly than had been presented by Mr Allen, and there had been an "absolute failure" by the people behind the scheme and the MoD to resolve the issue.

Members agreed with the officers' recommendation and refused the application.

Objections were received from both South Holland district and Crowland parish councils and 43 members of the public.

The committee also heard from residents Helen and Duncan Godber, who said they were worried about noise, the effects on wildlife and the impact on the landscape.

Mrs Godber said: "Let us keep this valuable area of Fenland unspoilt.

"We have enough wind turbines crowding our neighbourhood. This is the only pocket of peaceful tranquility we have left."

Councillors voted to go with the officers' recommendations and voted to refuse the plans.

Applications approved

Although a glut of applications in the area have been turned down or are pending an appeal, including Nutsgrove Farm in Thorney and Wrydecroft, also in Thorney, several, coming under the remit of Fenland District Council, have been rubberstamped.

These include:

  • Eight turbines at Glassmoor Bank, near Whittlesey.
  • Eight turbines at Coldham Farm, in March.
  • Nine turbines at Franks Farm, in March.
  • Four turbines on land near the McCain's factory, in Whittlesey.

Source: http://www.peterboroughtoda...

JUL 9 2009
https://www.windaction.org/posts/21065-ministry-of-defence-shoots-down-wind-turbines-plan
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