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Marham radar warning over wind farm proposal  

Credit:  Lynn News | 27 September 2014 | www.lynnnews.co.uk ~~

Plans to build a wind farm close to two West Norfolk villages would have an unmanageable impact on radar installations at RAF Marham, defence officials say.

The warning is contained in a letter to borough council planners about the proposed Ongar Hill wind farm, near the villages of Terrington St Clement and Clenchwarton.

However, the developers have accused defence chiefs of failing to respond to repeated requests for meetings and further information on the subject.

Coriolis Energy and Falck Renewables are seeking permission to install nine, 127 metre high turbines in two clusters on the site to the east of Rhoon Road, Terrington St Clement.

But the Ministry of Defence (MOD) says it is maintaining its objection, because of the impact it says the scheme would have on radars at Marham.

Desmond Egan, senior safeguarding officer for the Defence Infrastructure Organisation, which is part of the MOD, wrote: “The impact upon operations at that unit would not be manageable.”

But, in its own reports to the authority, the applicants listed six separate occasions since last summer, when it claims to have requested either meetings or further information from the MOD, without any response.

They claim that no further detail has been given since a meeting in July last year and that information provided to them had been “limited” before then.

The document added: “Attempts to engage with DIO continue.”

The MOD has previously warned that the scheme could affect radar installations at other bases, as well as Marham, though most of those objections have already been withdrawn.

And Mr Egan said they were withdrawing their objection relating to the possible impact on RAF Coningsby, in Lincolnshire, as it was felt that could be worked around.

However, he warned that situation could be reviewed if further similar developments are brought forward.

A further objection, based on the impact on low flying operations, has also been withdrawn.

But Mr Egan warned that operational capabilities needed to be sustained and the installation of wind turbines was “a continuing problem.”

He said future schemes would be assessed on their own merits, but added: “The MOD will have to be cautious regarding future turbine planning applications in the vicinity, because they may well be unmanageable.”

But Coriolis says two turbines orignally proposed in the scheme were removed in order to address concerns over the potential impact of the development on planes flying to and from the Holbeach bombing range.

Source:  Lynn News | 27 September 2014 | www.lynnnews.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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