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Court action claims wind farms will interfere with air defence radar  

Credit:  STV | 14 March 2014 | stv.tv ~~

The Ministry of Defence (MoD) has launched a legal action to overturn a decision to grant a batch of planning applications for wind turbines on the Outer Herbrides following fears over effects on radar.

It is seeking to have a council committee decision made last year approving the installation of three turbines at locations on South Uist declared outside its powers and to have them set aside.

The MoD maintains that wind turbines can interfere with air defence radar.

A turbine can produce a false “aircraft-like return” where it shows up on the system as an aircraft or can result in “clutter” which desensitised radar and increased the risk of a failure to detect.

It claims that the risks arise when a certain level of proliferation of turbines in a localised area is exceeded.

The MoD has raised judicial review proceedings at the Court of Session to take action over the permissions granted by the Comhairle nan Eilean Siar committee over two turbines at Bornish and one at Frobost.

Brian Gill, counsel for the ministry, said: “They relate to three different planning applications by three different crofters on the Isle of South Uist.”

The MoD had objected to the proposals but at a committee meeting it was noted that councillors did not consider they had a full understanding of the technical reasons why it was maintaining its opposition.

Efforts had been made to arrange a meeting with elected members and MoD representatives and other experts in November but it had to be postponed and attempts were made to reschedule it for the New Year.

Mr Gill told the court that the councillors on the Western Isles Council committee had effectively made the decision to ignore that altogether and “bash on”

The council was not represented at Friday’s hearing but one of the planning applicants sought a continuation and the judge, Lady Wolffe, allowed it to let him seek legal representation.

Source:  STV | 14 March 2014 | stv.tv

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