Air traffic fear over turbines

An example of a turbine.
An example of a turbine.

Controversial plans to build two wind turbines at Beeford have been given the go ahead - scotching concerns that they would affect air traffic radar.

The East Riding of Yorkshire Council turned down a planning application to build two turbines with a blade height of 34.2m on land west of West Farm, Foston Lane.

But the decision was overturned following a planning appeal by Phitwherry Ltd.

Government appointed planning inspector Andrew Hammond said: “The main issue in this appeal is whether the proposed wind turbines would result in false returns or other unacceptable effects on the Claxby primary surveillance radar.”

The council’s sole reason for refusal was on grounds that the proposed development would have an unacceptable impact on civil aviation in that Claxby radar and, as a result, Prestwick air traffic control, would be affected by the proposal having an adverse impact on air traffic safety.

In reaching its decision, the council relied on representations made by National Air Traffic Services who are responsible for aircraft operating in controlled airspace in the UK.

The PSR antenna radiates electromagnetic energy and detects echoes which are interpreted by the radar system to provide information to the operator.

It was the contention of the NERL that the proposed wind turbines would add to clutter, both increasing the workload of air traffic controllers and potentially masking real aircraft.

It was further maintained that it was possible that false tracks could occur as a result of the proposed turbines.

Mr Hammond said: “It has not been demonstrated that the proposed turbines would add significantly to any impact on the operation of the Claxby Primary Surveillance Radar. The proposed development would not therefore be detrimental to aviation safety.”