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Plan for turbine near County Durham airfield rejected over safety fears

A proposal to build a wind turbine near a County Durham airfield has been rejected after it was branded “suicidal” for pilots.

Durham County Council’s planning committee today (Tuesday, July 26) voted unanimously to refuse the application for the 500kw turbine on land near Fishburn Airfield, near Sedgefield.

Councillors followed public opposition and a planning officer’s recommendation to give the plan the red light on the grounds of the site’s proximity to the airfield.

It was said that the “scale and nature would cause unacceptable aviation safety risks to users”.

Jeff Pike, of Fishburn Aviation, which runs the airfield, told councillors at County Hall, in Durham, that taking off and landing near an operating turbine would be “suicidal” for pilots – particularly as 50 per cent of airfield users fly lightweight planes that could not contend with the winds produced from it.

The Ministry of Defence and surrounding parish councils also objected to the proposal.