February 27, 2013

Turbine refused over aircraft safety fears

Feb 27 2013 by Lynda Nicol, East Kilbride News | www.eastkilbridenews.co.uk

Another Strathaven area farmer has had his single wind turbine planning application rejected by South Lanarkshire Council.

William Harper wanted to erect a 46.5-metre windmill at his 75-acre market garden at Covenanter House in the town’s Brackenridge Road.

No members of the public objected the scheme.

However, members of the planning committee on Tuesday turned down the application on grounds that the turbine could cause an air safety risk and compromise operations at Strathaven Airfield, about a mile away.

At January’s planning committee, councillors turned down four single-turbine applications all from Strathaven area farmers bidding to make extra cash by supplying energy to the National Grid.

Meanwhile, the council have approved more than 500 windfarm applications, some lodged by major players in the renewables sector.

Mr Harper, 48, said he planned to appeal to the Scottish Government against the council’s decision.

He said: “It seems to me that all the small applications are being knocked back but the bigger windfarm applications are being approved.

“Why is it that the council seem to be reluctant to take on the big boys?”

“I have been told my application has been turned down on grounds of safety and if that is the case, my argument would be when are they going to stop building roads?”

In a report to the committee, planning chief Colin McDowall said Strathaven Airfield had objected because of fears that turbulence from the turbine posed a safety risk for microlight aircraft landing and taking off there.

The airfield’s objection was backed by the Civil Aviation Authority who told the council that light aircraft were susceptible to turbulence.

They also were of the view that turbines produced turbulence similar to that caused by other aircraft.

Strathaven Airfield have about 26 aircraft based there. It has three grass runways and is the oldest non-military airfield in west/central Scotland .

Airfield spokesman Colin McKinnon said: “Wind turbines have been around for 20 or 30 years but what is new is that some are now being built relatively close to built-up areas.

“However, nowhere in the world is there any research on the potential impact of turbulence from wind turbines.

“What is known is that there will be turbulence and it will spread over a certain distance but no one has any guarantees on the effect, how big and what levels (of turbulence) different aircraft can safely fly through.”

URL to article:  https://www.wind-watch.org/news/2013/02/27/turbine-refused-over-aircraft-safety-fears/