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North Coates Flying Club may be forced to close if wind farm compounds go ahead  

Credit:  Grimsby Telegraph | September 29, 2014 | www.grimsbytelegraph.co.uk ~~

Campaigners insist changes to plans to build works compounds for an offshore wind farm don’t go far enough to lift the threat of closure hanging over their airfield.

As reported, North Coates Airfield could be forced to close if renewables firm SMart Wind goes ahead with its proposal, airfield representatives fear.

The company initially proposed locating three works compounds close to the runway at North Coates to enable it to lay cables for the Hornsea offshore wind farm.

SMart Wind is developing the 4,000MW (4GW) Hornsea offshore wind farm off the Yorkshire coast.

But the compounds, which would house industrial machinery and excavated earth, would make taking off safely from North Coates impossible, according to the campaigners.

The firm has since said that plans for one of the compounds, at the end of the runway, would be scrapped.

But this has not appeased the campaigners.

Kevin Newman, the owner of the airfield, said it was “imperative” that the developer stay away from the airfield.

“We need to keep this gem alive for future generations to come. The proposals put the flying club in serious jeopardy,” he said.

Steve Charters, chairman of the North Coates Flying Club, said the two other compounds would make it difficult for the airfield to continue.

He said the planes would need the space around the airfield to ‘bail’ into, should mechanical problems arise.

He said: “If this company is successful in putting these compounds in, it will result in the demise of the airfield.

“We have explained the needs of the flying club in order to continue flying, but SMart Wind has taken no notice at all.

“The compound that it is now going to proceed with was proposed to be located directly on the threshold of our 05 runway. That would be like building a brick wall across Silverstone race track.

“We are now getting desperate as SMart Wind is like a snowball rolling down a hill getting bigger – and if we don’t get support it will roll right over the top of us.”

A spokesperson for SMart Wind said: “We are committed to consulting the local communities on all aspects of the proposed Hornsea Project Two offshore wind farm.

“We have continued to liaise with North Coates Airfield through further meetings and direct correspondence to understand their operational requirements.

“On assessing this feedback, SMart Wind will not be progressing with the temporary compound for construction at the end of the runway as previously agreed.

“We have made further amendments, which we are currently carrying out further consultation on, to the location of the other temporary compounds for construction and are currently carrying out further assessment of the compounds for construction to ensure that navigation safety will not be compromised at the airfield.

“We appreciate the engagement with North Coates Airfield and we hope to continue constructive discussions with North Coates Airfield, to allow the consultation process to influence the project’s design to minimise the environmental impacts of the delivery of the project.”

Source:  Grimsby Telegraph | September 29, 2014 | www.grimsbytelegraph.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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