The Ministry of Defence (MoD) has formally raised objections to the possible erection of 60 giant wind turbines along the border of Northumberland and Cumbria.
MoD officials say the turbines would have an “unacceptable impact” on Royal Air Force (RAF) operations controlled by the radar surveillance system at RAF Spadeadam on the Northumberland/Cumbria border. The issue of safety is also at the forefront of the controversy. The 125m-high turbines can provide misleading information on radar screens and potentially conceal the presence of real aircraft.
The base is the only electronic warfare tactics range in the UK and is used to train RAF aircrews on how to evade radar-guided missiles and survive in hostile environments by using low-flying manoeuvres. The building of the wind turbines would force RAF crews to conduct low manoeuvres in a very narrow corridor, raising the possibility of an accident.
The MoD is receiving strong support from local citizen groups and Newcastle Airport for its complaint. Carol Brodie, the chair of CREDIT (Campaign for Responsible Energy Development in Tynedale), said: “Anyone who spends any time in this area knows that military aircraft fly through the proposed wind farm sites at low level[s] almost every day, often several times a day and sometimes after dark. Common sense should have told the wind farm developers that we cannot have aircraft flying at 100ft in constrained airspace at very high speeds, having to avoid 400ft wind turbines in their path.”
Newcastle Airport has stated that the wind turbines will “absolutely interfere” with their radar systems.
17 September 2007
|Wind Watch relies entirely
on User Funding