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MoD attacks plans for Perthshire windfarm

Military chiefs claim a controversial east Perthshire windfarm could cause havoc to radars at Leuchars army base.

The 11-turbine Green Burn development is earmarked for 660 acres of farmland between Alyth and Bridge of Cally.

If approved, the development would sit next to the 16-turbine Drumberg project which was installed by Scottish and Southern Energy seven years ago.

The proposal, which is being considered by Perth and Kinross Council planners, has prompted scores of complaints from residents, land- owners and wild land conservationists the John Muir Trust.

Now the Ministry of Defence has lodged a formal objection, claiming one of the turbines will cause “unacceptable interference” to radar equipment at Leuchars.

In its letter to planners, a spokeswoman said: “Wind turbines have been shown to have detrimental effects on the performance of MoD Air Traffic Control and range control radars.

“These effects include the desensitisation of radar in the vicinity of the turbines and the creation of ‘false’ aircraft returns which air traffic controllers must treat as real.

“The desensitisation of radar could result in aircraft not being detected by the radar and therefore not presented to air traffic controllers.”

She added: “Maintaining situational awareness of all aircraft movements within the airspace is crucial to achieving a safe and efficient air traffic service and the integrity of radar data is central to this process.

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

Developers ABO Wind hosted a series of consultation events with residents before lodging its application for planning consent.

A group of residents who are battling east Perthshire windfarm projects conducted a study of 750 households about the Green Burn project.

Of the 220 respondents, 81.6% said they had concerns about the project, while 83% said the area had already had its fill of turbines, claiming the amount had reached an “unacceptable maximum”.

No one from ABO Wind was available to discuss the MoD objection yesterday.

A spokeswoman previously said the site was within a “broad area of search” for wind energy schemes identified by Perth and Kinross Council.