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150-foot high wind turbine rejected over Gatwick Airport safety fears

A huge wind turbine in the countryside has been ruled out – as it could endanger aircraft.

If it had been given the go-ahead, the turbine would have soared 150 feet above its surroundings

But planners have turned the proposal down, partly on environmental grounds and also because of its possible threat to nearby Gatwick Airport.

East Grinstead firm Microgen Wind Limited applied to install the turbine at Horne Park Golf Club, in Croydon Barn Lane, near Outwood.

The proposal submitted to Tandridge District Council called for a 120-foot tall mast on a strip of the golf course, topped by its 30-foot tall sails.

There were a sea of objections from residents.

And, in a letter to the council, Gatwick Airport’s aerodrome safeguarding officer Amanda Purdye warned the turbine could cause radar signals from the airport to bounce back.

She added: “Because of the rotating nature of the turbine, it could not be filtered out by the standard radar filtering of static objects.

“It could have a negative impact on the potential safety of Gatwick Airport’s operation.

“We must object to this on the grounds of air safety.”

The news has delighted Tracey Osgood, who chairs Horne Parish Council.

She said: “We are very pleased with the outcome.

“We thought and feared that the plan would be given permission, due to the Government’s alternative fuels strategy.

“We did raise the issue of air safety, especially as the turbine would be on the flight path.

“And the safety aspect was enough to ensure the proposal could not proceed.”

Mrs Osgood, who lives in Chithurst Lane, had feared that horses being ridden locally could be “spooked” by the turbine.

And she insisted the wind levels locally were not enough to warrant a turbine.

Mrs Osgood said the noise “hum” would be constant, and the turbine would have caused permanent disruption to a large rural area.

A 15-signature petition warned the plan could diminish house prices, cause “disturbing” noise levels and lead to a spate of wind turbines being installed there.

No comment was forthcoming from the scheme’s agents London-based AAH Planning Consultants.

But Kirstin Skea, one of the company’s officers, said previously that the impact on nearby residential properties would be minimal.

She said the installation of the turbine would provide extra income to help ensure the golf club’s viability.

In its energy report submitted with the application, the company claimed the turbine would generate 236,000 kilowatts annually – which is the equivalent energy consumption of more than 70 homes.