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Radar ‘danger’ turbine gets OK

Military chiefs have failed to block a giant wind turbine from being built near a radar station.

The Ministry of Defence claimed the 260ft tall turbine would hamper their ability to track enemy aircraft.

But councillors rejected their plea and gave the green light for the development.

The MoD’s campaign is not over, however, as the matter is to go to the Scottish government for a final decision.

Farmer Elaine Booth wants to build the turbine, which has blades more than 200ft in diameter, at St Fergus, Aberdeenshire, overlooking the North Sea.

It should produce enough power for 730 homes in the area.

However, it will be just six miles from an early warning airdefence radar station at RAF Buchan, near Peterhead.

The radar station has scanned the skies of northern Britain for more than 50 years for signs of approaching enemy aircraft and is regarded as a key part of the UK’s air defence system.

Julian Chafer, the MoD’s head of safeguarding, travelled to an Aberdeenshire Council meeting in Peterhead to plead with councillors to reject the plans.

He claimed he had “no doubt” the turbine would affect the nation’s air surveillance abilities and could leave gaps in radar cover.

The council’s Buchan area committee voted 8-2 in favour of the plan.

The Daily Record

15 May 2008