MoD’s radar fears over planned turbine

The turbine being repaired last week [Graham Mountford]
The turbine being repaired last week [Graham Mountford]

The Ministry of Defence has issued concerns about proposals for a second 490ft wind turbine on the edge of Heath and Reach.

After being contacted by agents Engena Ltd regarding the proposed turbine at Checkley Wood Farm, the MoD wrote back that they “may have concerns” regarding the application.

MoD safeguarding assistant Michael Billings said: “Your development will be detectable by, one or more MoD radars.

“As a consequence, we may object should you proceed with a planning application for the development in its current form.”

The Checkley Wood turbine would be 74km from the air traffic control radars at RAF Wittering, and according to the MoD, and would be detectable by it.

Mr Billings went on: “Wind turbines have been shown to have detrimental effects on the performance of MoD air traffic control and range control radars.

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

In addition, the MoD stated the turbine could interfere with military low flying training, which usually takes place down to a height of 250ft above ground level.

The MoD adds: “Regardless of whether we object to your proposal, it is probable the MoD will request the turbine(s) be fitted with visible or infra-red aviation safety lighting.”

Heath and Reach Parish Council has yet to formulate its response to the planning application, but a meeting was held at Heath and Reach Barn on Thursday, May 26, in order for gauge public opinion.

Already, an action group is forming against the proposed turbine, lead by Chris Roberts who promised to “respond vigorously to counter the application” once it was submitted.

An extensive objection document has also been prepared.