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Planners reject wind turbine which could have confused Navy radar in Plymouth

Plans for a giant wind turbine have been thrown out after a lengthy battle by opponents.

The proposed 86.5 metre tall turbine at Luson Farm near Ermington would have interfered with military air operations around Plymouth, South Hams District Council planners said.

It was decided the turbine would have dominated the skyline to the detriment of the character of the sensitive landscape.

“The existing character of pastoral farmland and gently rolling hills, historic field patterns and historic parkland would be significantly harmed by the presence of such a commanding industrial structure,” planners said.

The applicant, REG Windpower, operates 12 wind farms around the UK.

The refusal came after the MoD said in the letter to the district council that the radar at HMS Cambridge in Plymouth, which oversees flights by military aircraft in and out of Devonport, would be affected.

It said: “Wind turbines have been shown to have detrimental affects on the performance of MoD air traffic control and range control radars.”

More than 900 people made formal objections to the turbine.

The group South Hams Opposes Unwanted Wind Turbines, said: “As a community, we believe in renewable sources of energy which provide a valuable contribution to the UK energy mix.

“However, it is clear that it is the wrong renewable in the wrong location.

The group said the turbine would have an enormous visual impact on the character of the surrounding landscape, affecting the rolling hills of the South Hams.

The site is overlooked by Dartmoor National Park, the Erme Valley, Flete Estate and the South Devon Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty (AONB).

Earlier this year Eric Pickles, the Secretary for State for Communities, said: “Meeting our energy goals should not be used to justify the wrong development in the wrong location.”