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RAF radar takes wind out of turbines  

Credit:  Yorkshire Post, www.yorkshirepost.co.uk 12 December 2011 ~~

Plans to build two wind turbines at separate sites in the East Riding are set to be rejected because they would interfere with RAF radar and radio signals used by the energy industry.

The Ministry of Defence is objecting to plans to install a 220 ft turbine on land east of New House Farm, in Main Street in Cottam, because it would cause “unacceptable interference” to operations at RAF Staxton Wold.

The applicant says it would help the farm mitigate rising energy costs and any excess electricity it produces would be fed into the national grid. It would also reduce its carbon footprint by more than 418 tonnes of CO2 each year.

But the MoD said the turbine would mean the RAF would be unable to provide full surveillance of the area around the wind farm.

Recommending the application is refused, Alan Menzies, East Riding Council’s director of planning and economic regeneration, said in a report: “The proposed turbine would cause unacceptable interference to the radar at RAF Staxton Wold. The Ministry of Defence have advised that the probability of the radar detecting aircraft flying over or in the vicinity of the turbine would be reduced and the RAF would be unable to provide a full air surveillance.”

Mr Menzies is also recommending refusal of a planning application for a turbine of a similar size at Southfield Farm in Out Newton.

This is also intended to supply electricity to the farm, but although the MoD raises no objections – other than recommending it is fitted with lights – the scheme falls foul of communications technology in the energy industry.

The Joint Radio Company Ltd, which analyses wind turbine proposals on behalf of the UK energy industry, objects on behalf of itself and Yorkshire Electricity Distribution Ltd.

It said it had considered a mitigation strategy by the applicant but was not sure this would be feasible. The council will consider the applications on Thursday.

Source:  Yorkshire Post, www.yorkshirepost.co.uk 12 December 2011

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