Developers hit back in MoD row over turbines
Plans for two huge wind turbines in Cornwall, which the Ministry of Defence (MoD) said could mask enemy jets entering British airspace, will be no bigger than those on a neighbouring site, according to the firm acting on behalf of its applicants.
It has been suggested by officials at the MoD that the 115ft turbines proposed for neighbouring farms at St Ewe near St Austell are so tall they could look like planes on monitoring equipment.
However, Mi-Grid, acting on behalf of applicants Ian and Richard Lobb, have said the towers, which they say are classed as small scale wind turbines by Cornwall Council, are on the same scale as the nearby Gorran wind turbines which are operational.
They also added after a consultation with the neighbouring community they have dropped one of the two proposed turbines, at High Kestle Farm, and submitted a request to Cornwall Council to amend the application.
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A spokeswoman for Mi-Grid said: "The Gorran wind turbines do not cause any risk to MoD operations and we are in consultation with the MoD to ensure that the proposal does not cause any adverse risk to national security.
"If the MoD do consider that there would be a substantial risk to national security then planning permission will not be granted"
It was reported earlier this week that the initial application for the two turbines had prompted a written objection from the MoD which warned the installation would cause "unacceptable interference" to an air traffic control (ATC) radar 30 miles away in Wembury, near Plymouth.
Radar operators have to treat any unidentified object as a genuine threat – and could even have to scramble fighter jets to investigate. The objection said: "Wind turbines have been shown to have detrimental effects on the performance of MoD ATC 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 presented to air traffic controllers."
Graham Chaplin, who owns a smallholding near the proposed site, has collected signatures of 109 villagers calling on Cornwall Council to reject the plan. He said: "The turbine will really be right on top of us."