Defence chiefs object to three Norfolk wind turbines

A comparison of the proposed Oulton turbine against Big Ben. A comparison of the proposed Oulton turbine against Big Ben.

Tuesday, April 9, 2013
6:01 PM

Three proposed wind turbine developments could be blocked after the Ministry of Defence raised concerns about potentially “detrimental” effects on nearby radar.

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Trimingham Radar Station.; PHOTO: ANTONY KELLYTrimingham Radar Station.; PHOTO: ANTONY KELLY

The Airvolution Energy Limited proposal to construct two 126.5m-high turbines off North Walsham Road, Scottow, close to the former RAF Coltishall, will be discussed by North Norfolk District Council (NNDC) on Thursday.

Planning officers have recommended members of the development committee refuse the application on the grounds that the turbines would be 16km from the Air Defence radar at Trimingham and would cause “unacceptable interference”.

An MOD report said: “Trials carried out in 2005 concluded that wind turbines can have detrimental effects on the operation of radar which include the desensitisation of radar in the vicinity of the turbines and the creation of ‘false’ aircraft returns.”

This interference would “pose a significant risk of compromising national security”, according to the planning officer’s recommendation.

Oulton husband and wife Daisy Turville-Petre and Sam Booker.Oulton husband and wife Daisy Turville-Petre and Sam Booker.

Meanwhile the MOD has objected to an application from Bernard Matthews Wind Energy Co-Operative to build a 77m-high turbine on Oulton Airfield, in Oulton village near Aylsham.

The turbine would be 18km from Trimingham and the MOD had similar concerns to the Scottow proposal.

Those same fears have also prompted the applicant of a proposed 78m-high turbine off Selbrigg Road, Hempstead, near Holt, to withdraw the plans, according to a spokesman from NNDC.

Coltishall villager Roy Bailey, who was one of 108 objectors to the Scottow plan, said: “I’m sure some people don’t realise the proposed height of the turbines. They will be 20 times the height of my two-storey pitched roof cottage.”

The turbines would be taller than Norwich Cathedral which is 96m high.

Mr Bailey, who lives close to the site, added: “There would be a detrimental effect with regard to tourism and the local economy. I know someone who runs a caravan park in the area and he said past customers have said they would not return because of the turbines.

“I’m objecting because it is close to me but I’m also concerned for the whole of Norfolk. Do we want these kind of structures in such a lovely area? They will be seen for miles.”

Other concerns raised by villagers, according to the planning officer’s report, included claims that turbines were inefficient and ugly, they would cause noise pollution and general anxiety/stress for nearby homeowners and they would have a detrimental impact on health.

But despite the NNDC conservation, design and landscape manager admitting there would be “localised significant impacts” from the turbines, the overall effect on the landscape was not significant, the report says.

There were two letters of support sent to NNDC which said the turbines would add drama to the landscape and they were vital for the country’s energy security.

The applicants claimed that each of the turbines would generate enough energy for about 2,315 homes each year and £300,000 would be given to community projects over the turbines’ 25-year lifespan.

Bernard Matthews owns the proposed Oulton turbine plot which is close to the Blickling Conservation Area, home of the grade 1 listed Blickling Hall. The National Trust has objected to the application, which will be considered by Broadland District Council.

National Trust planning adviser for the East of England, Sian Derbyshire, said in a letter to Broadland: “As a guardian of these places of historic interest and natural beauty, we have a duty to protect them. We accept there is a place for wind in a mix of renewable technologies which we must pursue to help us meet the country’s low carbon energy and energy security needs. But each wind proposal should be located, designed and on a scale that avoids compromising the special qualities of its locality.”

Sam Booker, 41, from Oulton, said: “We just don’t think the airfield is the right place for the turbine. There is nothing else of that height around here.”

An extraordinary parish council meeting to discuss the plan will be held in Oulton Chapel on Tuesday, April 16 at 8pm. It will be open to the public.

It is not known when the Broadland District Council planning committee will discuss the application.

18 comments

  • The MOD did object to the turbine at Bodham initially - exactly as it has done at Oulton and Scottow. However it withdrew its objection after consultation once the proposal went to appeal - just as Dickens suggests they might well do here...

    Report this comment

    nooultonturbine

    Wednesday, April 10, 2013

  • These turbines are a blight on our landscape. I wonder if the MOD will seek advice from that nice man Nick Daubney, Leader of King's Lynn and West Norfolk Council, whose council has spend £500k+ fighting these turbines in the west. Can they find us an alternative technology? Why don't we invest more in tidal power?

    Report this comment

    pig in trough

    Tuesday, April 9, 2013

  • The MOD will remove the objection at the appeal which will follow soon after. This same objection is always made and then removed after consultation. Do not open the champers just yet.

    Report this comment

    Dickens

    Tuesday, April 9, 2013

  • Typical NIMBY approach from you Douglas. Quite happy to see ineffective and unreliable wind turbines, although I doubt that you would want to live near them, but not prepared to live near or want near them a gas powered station. These are of course the essential back ups which are needed most of the time for when the heavily tax payer subsidised wind turbines have the wrong type of wind. Of course there is the possibility that I am being unfair to you and you would welcome a gas powered station near you?

    Report this comment

    andy

    Wednesday, April 10, 2013

  • Andy, as I live very close to the proposed wind turbine it is going to be in my backyard, so to speak. Will I have some misgivings about yet more clutter to spoil my view? Undoubtedly. However, as my part of rural Norfolk isn't served by rail links (Beeching) or good roads then there isn't a good case for them to build a gas plant near me! However, there is a copious supply of wind which will ensure a good return on the investment made by both the taxpayer and the farmer. Of course when the wind doesn't blow I'm sure the extra capacity will be provided by those awfully safe and efficient nuclear power plants which the taxpayer also subsidises. Of course there is the little issue of the unfunded billions (NAO) which is required to decommission existing stations and also where to bury the increasingly large amounts of waste we have already which is also unfunded. However, your option seems to be gas of which most is imported and which is subject to numerous potential disruptions and nasty and inconvenient market forces. At least the commiseration is that the wind blows an awful lot of the time and can't be turned off!

    Report this comment

    Douglas McCoy

    Wednesday, April 10, 2013

  • If these useless monstrosities had to be self financing, not a single application would be received. Wind turbines are not viable and never will be, and the claims made for them are totally untrue. Remember why we gave up using windmills to grind corn and pump water? Because they are inefficient and expensive to operate.

    Report this comment

    Derek Colman

    Tuesday, April 9, 2013

  • There are many blights on our landscape. Electric and phone poles, caravan parks, road signs etc. Turning a blind eye to one should mean turning an eye to others? However, it appears that the arbiter of what is aesthetically acceptable is remains only available to those who profess to be the guardians of the countryside and therefore anti wind turbine? Strange how some people can find somethings acceptable but not others eh?

    Report this comment

    Douglas McCoy

    Tuesday, April 9, 2013

  • We are in a no-win situation here. If the enemy detectors don't work properly because of the turbines, they could sneak over and annihilate us in our beds, and if we don't have the turbines we will all die in a boiling global warming type atmosphere due to relying on traditional energy sources! Can't we compromise? Surely our Dutch friends could text us if they see the enemy flying over them and toward us? Like 'there on their way LOL!(smiley face)' Surely they could do that for us?! Surely? For God and our children's sake, THINK ON!

    Report this comment

    backwoodsman

    Thursday, April 11, 2013

  • Never mind the Aesthetics, Do they cost us money -YES Are the subsidies a scam – YES Are they a good investment for the developer - YES Do they cut CO2 – NO Do they give reliable energy - NO Do they give energy security - NO Are they fit for purpose - NO Should we build more – NO See how much the SwindLE scam is costing us - (Have smelling salts handy.) For a flavour of CASH generated by windfarms per mth, OFGEM figs (More than 50% is subsidy’s.) see- http:www.variablepitch.co.uksummarymoney Worth looking thru the rest of that site at the obscene amounts of subsidies they get, paid by ….me & you. see map - http:www.variablepitch.co.ukstationsmap • Note:- As at July 2012, a scandalous 74% of ALL British Electricity Generating…. is foreign owned.!!

    Report this comment

    saveenergy

    Wednesday, April 10, 2013

  • The MOD didn't object to the wind turbine at Bodham because it presumably isn't considered a potential problem like the three they are objecting to. In addition there are already two radio masts which are in situ at Bodham which presumably are also not a problem? Besides the MOD are well aware of what is and is not being built to be able to have registered a planning objection well before now so it is safe to say that they don't have any undue concerns about the Bodham wind turbine.

    Report this comment

    Douglas McCoy

    Tuesday, April 9, 2013

  • The MOD have also lodged a formal objection to the windfarm proposal at Hempnall, also for radar interference issues.

    Report this comment

    GoodRockinDaddy

    Tuesday, April 9, 2013

  • There is no such thing as a free lunch and whatever form of energy we use to generate our power from will be both expensive and susceptible to outside influences be that political, military or market driven. However, of all the available types of energy, nuclear power is the least acceptable from a cost point of view and due to potential safety risks. Rather than bore you with facts and figures may I suggest you research the problems with disposal and decommissioning costs undertaken by the National Audit Office. In the UK we have unfunded and unresolved issues about how to pay for the billions required to decommission existing facilities and this doesn't begin to answer the ongoing and unresolved issue of where to store our ever increasing amounts of nuclear waste. Despite our government wanting to have new nuclear power stations built there is the problem of how to fund it! When you have done your homework the real costs of nuclear power are staggering. The taxpayer appears reluctant to spend billions on subsidies and on disposal costs and the private sector seems reluctant to commit to financing new plants unless the unit price is realistic. Realistic in this context is undoubtedly going to be unacceptable to the consumer. Wind power in conjunction with clean burn coal powered and gas powered power plants potentially offers some but not all the solution. However, as no one is prepared to pay for the cost of paying for clean burn coal plants we have very few options other than to stay the course we are already on which includes wind, nuclear and imported gas.

    Report this comment

    Douglas McCoy

    Wednesday, April 10, 2013

  • Bodham nimbys lacked the necessary connections?

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    Mr Cameron Isaliar

    Tuesday, April 9, 2013

  • Whilst I totally agree with Derek Colman can anyone tell me why the MoD didn't object to the application for the Bodham wind turbine?

    Report this comment

    Sage

    Tuesday, April 9, 2013

  • This is not about green energy but profit. we have 100 wind turbines within our view off Sheringham where all the infrostructure is in place to add more, Why blight the countryside with them? Planning would never be given for a commercial factory on agricultral land even if it employed local people whose views have been completely ignored here.

    Report this comment

    Mary Cubitt

    Wednesday, April 10, 2013

  • This is where it gets complicated. If the obstruction is far enough away then radar software can block the turbine reflection...yet a low flying attack can't be seen at this site, yet it can be seen by other radar in the chain?..I like wind turbines but if the MoD has issues then they must take precedence over local planning.. imo.

    Report this comment

    Dave01

    Tuesday, April 9, 2013

  • Meanwhile, the Germans are adopting the pragmatic approach of building dozens of coal fired stations to protect their industry from unreliable wind power which is also too expensive, especially if punitive so called green taxes are added. In the UK dogma pushes us into ever more wind power whilst at the same time making us increasingly reliant on gas powered back up. Given the effectiveness of wind power how can it be financially sensible to build two sources of power because of the unrelaibilty of wind power?

    Report this comment

    andy

    Tuesday, April 9, 2013

  • Big Ben is a bell.

    Report this comment

    Thoreauwasright

    Wednesday, April 10, 2013

The views expressed in the above comments do not necessarily reflect the views of this site

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