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Don't fly in the face of aircraft safety  

First Minister Jack McConnell has been urged to intervene in the long-running row over a proposed wind farm behind Greenock.

Campaigners accused the Scottish Executive of “playing fast and loose” with public safety over fears that giant turbines could interfere with Glasgow Airport’s radar.

It is almost two years since a public inquiry was held into the £40 million proposal for Corlic Hill behind Strone, but the Executive has still not made up its mind if it will give planning permission.

Campaigners said today they were shocked to discover it took 22 days to dismiss a similar scheme in England – while it is now 22 months since the Corlic appeal. Keep Corlic Wild chairman David Wilson said: “The Elsham wind farm in Lincolnshire was subject to an appeal held last November.

“The proposal for 15 turbines is in many aspects similar to the Greenock plan, most crucially with regard to aircraft safety.

“National Air Traffic Safety gave evidence at both inquiries, and both developments presented a serious threat to aircraft safety.”

The British Airports Authority has objected to Airtricity’s 55 megawatt Greenock plan because it fears radar will be affected by the 22 turbines, each of them 328 feet high. They would generate electricity to about 45,000 homes. Mr Wilson said: “We now ask that First Minister Jack McConnell intervenes in what has become an appalling example of mismanagement – playing fast and loose with both the safety of aircraft passengers and Inverclyde residents living under the flight path to Glasgow Airport.”

A Scottish Executive spokesman said: “There are a number of complicated issues around this proposed project that need to be addressed before a decision can be made. These are currently being looked at in detail.”

It is believed the Corlic Inquiry Reporter recommended refusal in October 2005 because of the impact the wind farm would have on aircraft safety and on Clyde Muirshiel Country Park.


10 February 2007

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