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Giant M62 wind turbine ‘threatens’ John Lennon Airport planes  

Credit:  by David Bartlett, Liverpool Daily Post, www.liverpooldailypost.co.uk 20 April 2011 ~~

A giant wind turbine planned for a site alongside the M62 would threaten the safety of planes using Liverpool John Lennon Airport, it has been claimed.

A 250ft tall turbine is planned for land just north of the Ikea super store, in Warrington.

But bosses at Liverpool John Lennon Airport (JLA) have objected, saying the height and location of the turbine could create a blind spot on its radar.

Lancaster-based Wind Direct Limited, the company behind the plan, said it has suggested a compromise which involves marking the turbine on radar systems.

Officials at Warrington council want the turbine to be approved, as it would help meet a target for two large turbines to be installed in the borough by 2010 that has already been missed.

As JLA and Wind Direct have been unable to reach a compromise, a decision planned for last week has been delayed until next month.

The turbine is planned for land at Burtonwood, around 200 metres north of the Ikea store, at Junction 8 of the M62.

Warrington council admits that the plans breach planning guidance on building on green belt land, but because of wider environmental benefits the turbine should be allowed.

Officials admit that the 700 kilowatt turbine would generate only a small amount of electricity, but that it would make an important contribution.

The plans, which were scaled back from three turbines to one after public consultation, have also attracted opposition from ten neighbours and the local parish council.

Nicola Mortimer, of Wind Direct Limited, said: “It is difficult to see what the planning committee are going to do if there is no resolution.

“It is really disappointing. What we have suggested has been working successfully in other areas.

“It may be down to the airport being owned by Peel Holdings, which do their own wind turbine developments.”

She said if JLA continued to take this stance it would limit the number of turbines that could be built in the region.

She said Manchester Airport and the Civil Aviation Authority have not objected to the plans.

Robin Tudor, spokesman for JLA, said: “Across the UK, wind turbines are an issue for airports as they conflict with radar.

“We are concerned about the impact on our radar because it could create a blind spot.

“The suggested mitigating actions do not satisfy us that the problem will be resolved.

“The onus is on them to come up with another solution.”

The airport itself has small turbines which do not appear on radar as they are much smaller.

Mr Tudor denied that the objection was motivated by the interests of one of its main shareholders, Peel Holdings, which has a number of wind turbine installations. “It is absolutely not the case. We are not wholly owned by Peel, Vancouver Airports owns 65% of JLA.”

Source:  by David Bartlett, Liverpool Daily Post, www.liverpooldailypost.co.uk 20 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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