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Wind farm 'a threat to our airport'  

Southend Airport has raised serious objections to plans to build a new wind farm – even though the turbines would be nearly 15 miles to the north.

Aviation experts say a wind farm next to the defunct nuclear power station, at Bradwell, could raise air traffic control issues and might even interfere with radar.

Airport managing director Alistair Welch raised the concerns at a public inquiry which is being held in Maldon.

Maldon Council and local residents’ groups in the area around Bradwell are also objecting to the plan.

Mr Welch said new wind farm developers were legally obliged to consult any airports within an 18-mile radius.

He added: “We look at each application on its merits and have not objected to proposals in the Thames Estuary.

“It is well documented wind turbines can have an adverse effect on air traffic control and in particular the radar.

“The turbines can clutter the radar display used by controllers, which could pose an increased risk to the safe control of our aircraft.”

While the airport did not have concerns about offshore wind farms, Mr Welch was worried about the Bradwell plans for a number of reasons.

Many were connected to to the relationship between with wind farm site and the flightpaths of aircraft using Southend Airport, once plans to extend the runway were implemented.

“It would also be in proximity to existing constraints on flying, with the exclusion zones around Bradwell Power Station and the firing ranges on Foulness Island,” he added.

“We have strongly objected to the proposals and hope our views will be taken into consideration by the inspector.”


22 June 2007

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