Stop Berry Wind Farm campaigners say anemometer in Haddenham is ‘putting birds and aircraft at risk’
A device 61m high built on land where wind turbines could be installed is putting birds – and aircraft – at risk.
That’s the message from the Stop Berry Fen Wind Farm campaigners, who are calling for East Cambridgeshire District Council to make REG Windpower remove the anemometer it has recently put up at Berry Fen, between Haddenham and Aldreth.
Steve Cheetham, co-chairman of the campaign group, insists the structure is not sufficiently visible in the sky and that as a result, planning conditions have been breached.
The aim of the anemometer is to test wind speed at the site, which could soon be home to three turbines.
Mr Cheetham said: “The mast does not meet the planning conditions that it must be fitted with visible collision warning markers for birds and for aircraft, as recommended by the General Aviation Awareness Council and mandated by the council.
“Planning permission required nine reflective orange bird diverters to be placed at 5m intervals along each of the four outer guy wires, prior to raising the mast.
“There is, as a result, greatly increased risk of collisions by birds. Even worse is the potential risk to aircraft. Local residents are aware of how frequently aircraft fly across the fen, often at low level.”
Bruce Caldwell, development manager at REG Windpower, said: “The mast is still under construction and is due to be completed over the coming days.
“The lattice structure used during construction will be removed and bird deflectors will be fitted every 5m to the outer guy wires on the mast.”
“If Berry Fen were to be consented, there would be a community fund worth over £30,000 each year for community projects and local good causes around the wind farm, which could produce enough clean, green electricity to power approximately 3,900 average homes annually.”
A spokesman for the district council said: “We have been talking to the company which is still in the process of installing the anemometer.
“There has been a delay in the completion of work due to high winds.
“Hazard warnings, known as deflectors, still need to be installed on the guide ropes themselves.
“However, we have been advised that a hazard light as been put on top of the installation derrick. We are pressing for a timescale for the completion of the work.
“The council has also contacted Cambridge Airport to confirm they are happy with the temporary arrangements and they have agreed the council is taking the right necessary steps.”
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