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Hyndburn farmers in row with MOD over wind turbines
FARMERS who live next to a major wind farm are being denied domestic versions in case they interfere with military airspace.
Neighbours of the Hyndburn Wind Farm have submitted applications for smaller versions, 100 metres shorter in height than the giant models next door.
However, farmers were staggered when the Ministry of Defence stepped in to block the planning applications.
The MoD has been the main objector to approximately five applications from farms along Haslingden Old Road.
The department fears farmers’ turbines will interfere with airspace use and the ministry’s hi-tech radar equipment at Warton.
One farm, Lower Westall Lot Farm, in Oswaldtwistle, contacted Hyndburn MP Graham Jones over the issue.
After speaking with Clive and Helen Dewhurst, at the farm, Mr Jones stepped in to write to the MoD, asking for reasons behind the ‘overreaction’.
He said: “This turbine is significantly smaller than the 12 turbines on Oswaldtwistle Moor, and would be located in their shadow.
“I have never seen jet fighters fly over Hyndburn from Warton, and I cannot see how this near-by turbine would impact on flight paths.”
The Dewhursts run family dairy business J W Dewhurst and Son along Haslingden Old Road.
Their application was for two small-scale turb-ines, which are 25 metres from ground to tip, comp-ared to the 122metre-size of the wind farm turb-ines.
When refusing the Dewhursts’ application Hyndburn Council quoted the MoD’s objection: “The proposed development would have a direct impact on the operational effectiveness of Air Traffic Control radar at Warton, leading to desensitisation of radar and loss of usable air space”.
Mr Dewhurst said: “There is a huge wind farm right next to me, so it makes no sense for the MoD to object to my application.
“People around here who want turbines just want them for household use.”
Minister of State for Defence Personnel Mark Francois said: “The MoD fully supports the government’s renewable energy targets and, therefore, will only object to wind turbine proposals where absolutely necessary to safeguard defence assets.
“While fully appreciating that wind turbines would be close to the existing Oswaldtwistle Wind Farm, the proliferation around the Warton radar is a cause for concern.”
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