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Helicopter concerns over wind turbine plans  

Credit:  By Mark Stead, Political Reporter, The Press, www.yorkpress.co.uk 8 April 2011 ~~

Racing bosses have raised concerns about the possibility of a wind farm being built on the edge of York – because it could cause problems for jockeys and celebrities coming in by helicopter.

Green energy firm Banks Renewables is considering whether to install up to five 475ft turbines next to the A64 near Copmanthorpe and Askham Bryan, which would produce enough power for 8,300 homes.

The company has now submitted a report to City of York Council as the first step towards assessing potential environmental issues surrounding any development on the Hagg Wood scheme.

But York Racecourse bosses fear the turbines, which would be twice the height of York Minster, could interfere with the flight path for helicopters carrying top jockeys, trainers and owners, as well as famous guests, to race meetings at Knavesmire and create a safety risk.

Leading riders such as Frankie Dettori and Kieren Fallon often travel to and from the racecourse by air, as do racing fans such as footballer Michael Owen, and visiting parties of racegoers on occasion.

In a letter to the council, Tony Lee, the venue’s operations manager, said its helicopter contractor had highlighted the proximity of the wind masts, should they be built, to the route aircraft take to the racecourse.

He also said the turbines could create issues over the height helicopters heading to and from race meetings fly at and limit their “manoeuvring capability”.

The racecourse’s marketing manager, James Brennan, said: One of the consequences of the scheme would be that helicopters would need to be rerouted and that could lead to a greater degree of air traffic in another part of York.”

Source:  By Mark Stead, Political Reporter, The Press, www.yorkpress.co.uk 8 April 2011

This article is the work of the source indicated. Any opinions expressed in it are not necessarily those of National Wind Watch.

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