A PROPOSED wind turbine would trick nearby Ministry of Defence radars into thinking planes were in the air, it has been claimed.

The 36.6m turbine, planned for Tops Farm, Cross Edge, Green Haworth, would be 21 miles from Warton Aerodrome, and would cause ‘unacceptable interference’ with the air traffic control radar there, the Ministry of Defence said in a statement.

The statement also said: “Wind turbines have been shown to have detrimental effects on the performance of Ministry of Defence 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.”

Several objections from nearby residents were also received by Hyndburn Council. Concerns included the ‘flickering shadows the turbine would create across roads, which could lead to accidents’, and worries about noise.

The farm, just south of Oswaldtwistle, is close to Oswaldtwistle Moor, which is dominated by 12 large turbines, known as Hyndburn Wind Farm.

It is a small, working farm that keeps sheep, and is set in sloping hillside, classified by Lancashire County Council as ‘moorland fringe’.

Chief planning officer at Hyndburn Council, Simon Prideaux, recommended in a report that the planning committee refuses permission when it meets on January 8.

The reasons he gave were the effect on air traffic at Warton, and the ‘inappropriate and therefore harmful development in the green belt’.

In November, permission to build a 34.2m turbine at the nearby Matt Bridge Farm was granted. And an application to erect a 77m turbine at Wooley Lane Farm in Baxenden was lodged with Hyndburn Council, while opinion was sought for a 35m turbine at Accrington Riding Centre, at Rothwell Mill Farm.