The Ministry of Defence (MOD) is trying to block new plans for wind turbines in rural Buchan, it has emerged.
Officials say an overabundance of masts in the north-east could cause serious problems for surveillance equipment at RAF Buchan, south of Peterhead.
Councillors will be asked tomorrow to reject three applications for single-turbine developments after objections from the ministry amid concerns that the number of turbines in the area has reached “saturation point”. Defence bosses have objected to an application to instal a pair of 150ft masts at Monyruy, near Longside.
Both applications, lodged by Inverurie-based company Enviko, will be brought before members of thebuchanareacommittee tomorrow. A third, separate application for a single 260ft mast at Gallows Hill, near Longside, will also go before local councillors.
All three proposals are facing refusal after concerns by MOD bosses that they could cause “unacceptable” interference to radar equipment at the Buchan Air Surveillance and Control System (Asacs) base. In a letter to planning officers, Cyranne Taylor, of the Defence Infrastructure Organisation – the property arm of the MOD – said trials carried out in 2005 concluded that turbines had a detrimental impact on surveillance operations.
“The probability of the radar detecting aircraft flying over or in the vicinity of turbines would be reduced,” she said.
“The RAF would be unable to provide a full air surveillance in this area of the proposed windfarm.”
A similar objection was lodged by the MOD against plans for a 12-turbine development at Mormond Hill, near Strichen.
A planning spokesman said all three had been recommended for refusal.
He said: “The Buchan area has seen a significant numberof wind turbines of varying height built and approved and the defence estate’s concerns relate primarily to the cumulative impact that these winds turbines have had on radar.”
He added: “It would appear that the number of turbines within certain parts of the Buchan area has reached saturation point in terms of the impact upon air traffic and radar systems, as any further impact or clutter caused by wind turbines appearing on radar screens would no longer be manageable.”
|Wind Watch relies entirely
on User Funding