MoD will not scupper wind farm plan

By Jonathan BarnesA PLAN to set up a wind farm on a disused airfield will not be scuppered by the Ministry of Defence, the firm behind the proposal has insisted.

By Jonathan Barnes

A PLAN to set up a wind farm on a disused airfield will not be scuppered by the Ministry of Defence, the firm behind the proposal has insisted.

It has been revealed the Ministry of Defence (MoD) initially objected to the plan for six 101-metre wind turbines at Parham airfield, near Framlingham.

There were concerns over the possible effect they could have on radar facilities in the county.


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But Saxon Windpower, the firm behind the project, said last night it was confident it had allayed the MoD's fears.

John Fairlie, senior development manager at Your Energy, which represents Saxon Windpower, said: “The first part of the process was filling in forms about the proposed site to see if the MoD had any concerns.

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“We had a response saying it objected to potential development on grounds of the effect on the radar at Wattisham.

“But the main radar for Wattisham is provided at RAF Honington, which we have no issue with. We have talked to the MoD about this and reached a verbal agreement.

“We are now waiting for a letter of confirmation. It is part of the environmental assessment process that we get the MoD's views before we submit to planning.”

The firm was criticised by campaigners for not making them aware of correspondence with the MoD, but Mr Fairlie said: “We addressed the MoD concern very early on and it is no longer an issue.

“We are still waiting to hear their official response. This is still a feasibility study at the moment and we are looking at any concerns.”

Chris Evans, from the MoD's safeguarding office, confirmed objections had been raised about the proposed wind farm interfering with the line of sight from the radar at Wattisham.

He added the MoD had received radar reports from Saxon Windpower and technical advisers were now reassessing the firm's proposals.

An MoD spokesman added: “No wind farms are objected to in principle - each are looked at in great detail on a case-by-case basis.”

He confirmed the main radar for air traffic control was at RAF Honington, although there is a “small” radar at Wattisham Airfield.

Suffolk Coastal District Council said it would give “very serious weight” to any MoD concerns when considering planning applications.

jonathan.barnes@eadt.co.uk

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