November 4, 2014

Planned Oswaldtwistle wind turbines could trick Ministry of Defence radar

By Michael Morrison, Hyndburn reporter | Lancashire Telegraph | 4 November 2014 |

Three wind turbines planned for Oswaldtwistle could trick Ministry of Defence radar that ‘unknown’ aircraft are in the skies above East Lancashire, it was claimed.

Councillors will meet tomorrow to discuss plans for turbines at Ramsclough Farm in Haslingden Old Road, at Red Walls Farm in Broadfield, and at Red Shell Lane Caravan, in Red Shell Lane.

But if they follow council planning officers’ recommendations, the trio of wind turbines, measuring 67m, 34.4m, and 47m respectively, will be refused planning permission.

The Ministry of Defence (MoD) objected to all three, saying wind turbines have been shown to have detrimental affects on radar.

It is believed the turbines in their planned locations could trick radar at Warton into thinking jets are in the air.

Council documents read: “The creation of ‘false’ aircraft displayed on the radar leads to increased workload for both controllers and aircrews, and may have a significant operational impact.

“Furthermore, real aircraft returns can be obscured by the turbine’s radar returns, making the tracking of conflicting unknown aircraft, the controllers’ own traffic, much more difficult.”

Air Traffic Control at Warton controls both military and civilian planes, with controllers using radar to separate and sequence them.

A turbine at Red Shell Lane Caravan would also affect radar in St Annes, and Prestwich, documents also revealed.

The report added: “The overall impact of this development would be detrimental to a safe and efficient operation of the air traffic service.

“It has not been demonstrated that it is possible to make the impacts of the turbine on the ATC radar acceptable.” Oswaldtwistle councillor Peter Britcliffe said: “I’m concerned about the growth of wind turbines in the area.

If we are not careful, we are going to look like Toy Town.

“If the MOD is objecting, it should be taken seriously.

The last thing we would want is an air crash in Oswaldtwistle.”

Last December, the MoD objected to a 36.6m turbine planned for Tops Farm, Cross Edge, Green Haworth, for the same reasons.

And in March 2013, farmers living next to Hyndburn Wind Farm spoke out after the MoD stepped in to block the planning applications.

URL to article: