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Turbines could affect aircraft radars  

Credit:  By Gavin Havery, Reporter | The Northern Echo | 2nd June 2013 | www.thenorthernecho.co.uk ~~

Councillors are being urged to reject applications to build three wind turbines in north Durham in case they interfere with aircraft radars.

Durham County Council’s planning committee to due to discuss three applications when it meets at County Hall at 2pm on Tuesday.

Officers are warning that application for two turbines of 100 and 110 metres in height at South Moor Golf Club, near Stanley, could affect proposed new air defence radar at Alnwick and equipment at Newcastle International Airport.

Senior planning officer Ann Rawlinson said: “The proposed wind turbines, by reason of scale and siting, are likely to have an adverse impact upon Newcastle International Airport radar.

“This could result in air traffic control safety infringements, to the detriment of the safety of transiting aircraft within an operationally important area of commercial airspace.

“The proposed wind turbines, by reason of scale and siting, are likely to have an adverse impact upon RAF air defence radar at Brizlee Wood, Alnwick.

“This could result in a reduction in the probability of aircraft flying over, or in the vicinity of, the proposed turbines being detected, to the detriment of RAF air surveillance levels.”

The airport has objected to the application and the council has received seven letters of objection from people who live nearby.

Ms Rawlinson said: “The proposed wind turbines would have an unacceptable impact upon the surrounding landscape character and visual amenity due to their height, design and siting.”

An application for a 74 metre turbine at Middle Heads Farm, Rowley, Consett, has also been recommended for refusal in case it interferes with sensitive aircraft equipment.

However, planners have advised councillors to support an application for a 74 metre turbine on land between Craghead Lane and Humbleburn Lane, near Craghead, Stanley, despite 187 letters of objection from residents.

Case officer Allan Simpson said: “In terms of visual impact, the proposed wind turbine due to its scale and design will undoubtedly have an impact on the landscape, and would be highly visible feature in the locality.

“Any impacts the proposed development would have on the wider landscape are considered to be commensurate with the benefits the turbine would provide in terms of the production of renewable energy.”

Source:  By Gavin Havery, Reporter | The Northern Echo | 2nd June 2013 | www.thenorthernecho.co.uk

This article is the work of the source indicated. Any opinions expressed in it are not necessarily those of National Wind Watch.

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