Two aviation organisations have claimed that building a planned wind farm near the Severn Bridge would be like “erecting a tower block in the middle of a busy, ultra-fast motorway”.
The UK Aircraft Owners and Pilots Association and the General Aviation Awareness Council believe the 130-metre (425ft) turbines at Ingst, between Aust and Olveston in South Gloucestershire, could seriously affect flight safety.
The organisations sent a letter to South Gloucestershire Council after being contacted by worried local pilots. The GAAC and AOPA, which say they are not opposed in principle to wind turbine developments, claimed the turbines could create a risk, as the proposed site is at the intersection of two heavily used aviation routes.
The organisations said the River Severn, M4, M5 and M48 are used as navigational features by aircraft and helicopters pilots.
Steve Slater, spokesman for the GAAC, said: “The vast majority of flights within the UK are made outside controlled air space and are made under ‘visual flight rules’, usually at lower altitudes, relying on visual navigation. This navigation relies on following a course with reference to visual landmarks.
“Given the frequency of low-level stratus cloud in the UK, GA aircraft and helicopters following these terrestrial features frequently fly quite legally at heights above ground that could bring them into very close proximity with the proposed wind turbines.”
South Gloucestershire Council confirmed it had received the letter outlining the concerns.
It has been submitted as part of a public consultation into the scheme, which closes on January 25.
The plans by energy company REG Windpower to build three wind turbines on the site have faced opposition from a local campaign group.
The Olveston Wind Farm Action Group claims that the benefits of the project are exaggerated and that local objection is strong.
The group’s official objections to the project focus on the size and noise of the turbines and their visual impact on the land.
The group also disputes the relevance of the turbines, which would provide energy for 2,600 homes.
REG Windpower denies the group’s claims, and has said that the turbines would contribute to a more reliable mix of energy sources in the area.
The company added that the site, which sits in the Severn Vale, was ideal and one of only a limited number of possible places to build a successfully operating wind farm.
|Wind Watch relies entirely
on User Funding