A former Bolton MP who now holds a seat in the House of Lords has defended a government decision to block wind turbine applications amid fears they may affect Ministry of Defence radar equipment.
Junior defence minister Baroness Taylor, of Bolton, spoke out after it emerged the MoD had objected to 31 wind turbine applications in the last three years She insisted that her department was committed to renewable energy targets and told peers at question time that recent objections had been made because of predicted “unacceptable” interference with radar.
It was reported this week that Air Chief Marshal Sir Jock Stirrup, the chief of the defence staff, is insisting that the UK’s radar capabilities must not be impaired.
Labour peer Lord Berkeley said there had been “obstructions”, such as oil rigs in the North Sea, for 30 years.
He asked: “Why has the MoD only just woken up to this now? If the objections are sustained, would you not agree that it is going to wreck Government energy policy?”
Baroness Taylor said: “The MoD does not object to all wind masts and indeed gives strong advice to people in the pre-planning process who are thinking of siting a wind farm in any area.”
Baroness Taylor represented Bolton West as MP between 1974 and 1983.
8 February 2008
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