Turbines ‘affect radar’

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THE Ministry of Defence has objected to plans for two towering wind turbines in Chorley – that would be almost twice the height of the Angel of the North.

The MOD claims the structures, which would be 34.2m high and used to generate electricity, would interfere with the radar at Warton Aerodrome.

The objection is one of 117 to be posted on Chorley Council’s website after the plans were submitted by Clive Hurt (Plant Hire) Ltd.

They want to erect the turbines at the Gorse Hall Sand and Gravel Quarry off Blackburn Road - a move which has angered residents.

Chairman of Chorley Traders’ Association and Heapey parish councillor Malcolm Allen said: “The turbines will be seen for miles around and are planned for land only 1.5 miles away from the town centre.

“As residents, we are not against the smaller wind turbine applications for farms who want to use them to generate power, but this is a complete different situation.

“They are going to have a detrimental effect on the surroundings and there is the noise and health implications too. One couple won £2.5m compensation because they were driven from their home due to the unbearable noise wind turbines had made.

“A neighbour has had a sound report carried out for this application and it shows that it is highly likely that the guidelines would be exceeded.

“There are also a lot of court cases in other countries that have had the turbines for a lot longer and are only now learning the about the effects.

“Blackburn Road and the town centre is not the place for turbines like these. They would tower over the whole town.”

A decision on the application is expected to be made by Chorley Council’s Development Control Committee next month.

The report from the MOD said: “The turbines will be 19.9km, detectable by, and will cause unacceptable interference to the ATC radar at Warton Aerodrome.

“The turbines also lie in an area where aircraft are vectored for instrument approaches. 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 present to air traffic controllers. Controllers use the radar to separate and sequence both military and civilian aircraft, and in busy uncontrolled airspace radar is the only sure way to do this safely.”

The application has been submitted by agents Passam Developments for Clive Hurt Ltd. No one from Clive Hurt Ltd was available to comment.