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Wind turbine proposed for Haverhill could affect planes’ radar

A turbine proposed for farm land outside Haverhill could interfere with radar readings keeping aeroplanes on course, according to an air traffic control body.

The plans for a 78m high wind turbine and associated sub station on farm land at Nosterfield End were met with objections from the National Air Traffic Services (Nats), which provides air traffic control in the UK, on the grounds that a turbine of this height could provide a false signal for planes.

At a meeting of the town council’s planning committee on Tuesday, councillors decided to oppose the plans for the turbine submitted by farmer James Sills.

Mr Sills had already given a presentation to Haverhill Town Council at an earlier meeting about his plan to establish the wind turbine and substation which he told councillors would generate enough power for the farm as well as some additional capacity to be fed into the National Grid.

However Will Austin, Haverhill Town clerk, said: “There is a concern it could give false readings about air traffic in the area.

“That information was sufficient for the town council to object to the application.”

Amongst the town council’s concerns were how visible the turbine would be from the town and what noise it was expected to generate.

Mr Austin said: “It is clear there will be a visual impact of the wind turbine which will have a damaging impact on the local area.”

The proposed site is close to a number of listed buildings which Mr Austin described as a “valuable part of our heritage” and he said concerns were raised about noise from the turbine disturbing local residents.

Fourteen members of the public attended the meeting to air their concerns about the plans but the town council was worried not enough people had been informed of the application.

Mr Austin added: “We were concerned that some members of the public living locally had not been informed of the application until last week and we felt that wasn’t enough time for them to consider the application.”

A noise impact survey submitted with the application to St Edmundsbury Borough Council said there would be “no significant noise impact” from the proposal.

There were no objections from Sturmer Parish Council which looks after the area or other key bodies including the Suffolk Wildlife Trust.

The final decision will be taken by St Edmundsbury Borough Council at a later date.

To view the plans go to www.stedmundsbury.gov.uk.