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Windfarms under fire; MoD refuses to back down over Buchan plans  

Credit:  By Jamie Buchan, The Press and Journal, 21 May 2012 ~~

Military chiefs are refusing to back down in their battle against wind turbines in Buchan – claiming they could pose a threat to national security.

The Ministry of Defence has objected to 30 projects which it claims could cause havoc with radar equipment at RAF Buchan, south of Peterhead.

These range from one-turbine schemes to a plan for 12 masts at Mormond Hill, near Strichen.

It has also submitted a formal objection against the European Offshore Wind Deployment Centre, an 11-turbine development near Aberdeen Bay.

The MoD, in its objections, says that an overabundance of turbines could lead to false aircraft readings and make it impossible to provide a full surveillance service.

Earlier this year, Aberdeenshire councillors were criticised for approving three schemes despite objections from the MoD.

They have since stalled on making decisions on the other plans. Councillors said they wanted to meet defence officials before reaching a verdict.

The Press and Journal can reveal that talks have now taken place – and the MoD is refusing to budge. A spokesman said last night: “The MoD gave the local authority an overview of its wind-farm consultation process. Discussions were had on the air defence radar at RAF Buchan. It is correct that the MoD is raising more concerns with applications in the vicinity of RAF Buchan on the grounds of cumulative effect.

“This was explained to Aberdeenshire Council by an air defence expert.

“In attending the meeting, it was the MoD’s intention to provide the council with a better understanding of the importance of safeguarding defence assets from potentially negative development impacts.”

Buchan councillor Stuart Pratt said: “This was a presentation by the Ministry of Defence, rather than a debate, and we have listened very carefully to what they had to say. Now we have a better idea where they are coming from.”

He said the first round of deferred turbine applications should be discussed at the next meeting of the Buchan area committee at the end of the month.

“We will be look at each application on its own merits.”

Source:  By Jamie Buchan, The Press and Journal, 21 May 2012

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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