Haverhill: Air traffic bosses object to wind turbine

Turbine plan

Turbine plan - Credit: Archant

A WIND turbine proposed for farm land in west Suffolk could interfere with vital radar readings, an air traffic control body has claimed.

Plans for a 78m high wind turbine and associated sub-station at Nosterfield End, just outside Haverhill, have been met with objections from the National Air Traffic Services (NATS).

Experts working for the body claim that the turbine’s size would mean that it could provide a false signal for planes and distort the position of air traffic.

In documents sent to St Edmundsbury Borough Council, who are due to discuss the application at the start of next month, Sarah Allen, a technical administrator for NATS, said the turbine conflicted with “safeguarding criteria”.

Haverhill Town Council have also registered their objections following a meeting of their planning committee. Farmer James Sills, who is behind the plans, had previously told councillors that he hoped the turbine would generate enough power for the farm as well as some additional capacity to be fed into the National Grid.

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But town council clerk Will Austin, said: “Whilst the town councillors were sympathetic to the need to consider alternative energy sources, they did object on a number of grounds to this application.

“There were concerns around the consultation process with the public that had taken place and that some members of the public hadn’t received notification of the application until quite late on.”

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He added that councillors also believed the turbine would have a detrimental visual impact on the surrounding areas.

“Possibly one of the more important areas of concern was that the site of the proposed turbine is in a very special area containing a cluster of Grade II listed buildings and councillors were keen to see that environment protected,” Mr Austin said.

He added: “And of course, perhaps the most serious area of concern was a report from the NATS saying that there was a risk that the turbine could give false radar readings.”

Some of those living near the proposed site have also objected, saying that the benefits of reduced carbon output are outweighed by the loss of amenity and impact on the landscape.

A noise impact survey submitted with the application said there would be “no significant noise impact” from the proposal.

There were no objections from Sturmer Parish Council, which looks after the area, or other key bodies – including the Suffolk Wildlife Trust.

A spokesman for Engena Limited, the agents for Mr Sills’ application, said they were working on the objections and were “on course” to resolve them before the planning committee.

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