August 16, 2012

‘Turbine could interfere with radars’

West Briton | 16 August 2012

The Ministry of Defence is objecting to plans for a 34-metre wind turbine near Helston, saying it would interfere with air traffic control (ATC) radars at RNAS Culdrose.

The owners of Rosemaber Farm have applied to install a 50kW Endurance turbine 500m north of Breage village.

In a report to Cornwall Council the MoD said the turbine would be in line of sight to specialist radars and cause “unacceptable interference” to ATC radar at Culdorse.

It said: “Wind turbines have been shown to have detrimental effects on the performance of MoD ATC and range-control radars. These effects include the desensitisation of radar in the vicinity of the turbines and the creation of ‘false’ aircraft returns which air traffic controllers must treat as real.

“The desensitisation of radar could result in aircraft not being detected and therefore not presented to air traffic controllers.”

Controllers use the radar to separate and sequence military and civilian aircraft, and in busy, uncontrolled airspace radar is the only sure way to do this safely, the MoD added.

It also said the turbine posed a threat to its precision approach radar (PAR), used by air traffic controllers to guide aircraft down in inclement weather, and its meteorological office radar at Predannack.

The application states the turbine would create energy for the farm and not significantly impact on the surrounding landscape.

Nearby resident Emlyn Harris wrote to planners saying the turbine would “blight the lives of residents”. and drive down property values. A decision is due in the next few weeks.

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