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Wind farm will obstruct radar, MoD protests

The Ministry of Defence has criticised plans for a wind farm because it could hamper the ability of one of its Scottish stations to detect threats to UK airspace.

The Ministry’s written objection to the plans comes as complaints about the proposed development five miles from RAF Buchan have risen to more than 1,000.

The MoD says the eight 100m high turbines will obstruct radar. A spokesman said: “This would compromise the capability of air defence operation staff to detect threats to the UK airspace and control aircraft at range.” The MoD also said that the turbines would cause “unacceptable interference” to a Met Office radar station at Hill of Dudwick.

Local residents say that the area already has too many wind turbines, and would damage the Moss of Cruden, a site of special scientific interest.

Wind energy developers PNE Wind UK, who are behind the bid to build the farm, which would have a 20MW capacity, say they will consult with the MoD.

“The impact of turbines on radar is something we are aware of and we will continue to discuss with the MoD how to ensure there will be no detrimental impact on radar installations if the Hill of Braco Wind Farm is consented.

“We know that visual and landscape impact is a key local consideration and have taken this fully on board as we have developed the size and layout of Hill of Braco,” a spokesman said.

“We believe the proposals we have submitted to Aberdeenshire council are sensitively designed to ensure this impact is carefully managed.

“We remain committed to delivering a project that will contribute towards national energy needs and provide a community fund of £100,000 a year.”

PNE said there was local support for its plan, with a phone poll of residents finding 43 per cent were in favour.

The company said out of 346 households questioned only 30 per cent were against and 21 per cent neutral .Campaigner Michele Emslie, from Blackhills, said: “Residents feel that talk of community benefits prior to a planning application decision is extremely manipulative and bad conduct.

“The damage this development will do far outweighs any benefits.”

The plans are due before the council’s Buchan area committee in the coming months.