Officials claim turbines could interfere with airport radar

The view from Aldreth Causeway

The view from Aldreth Causeway - Credit: Archant

The Ministry of Defence (MoD) has objected to plans to erect three wind turbines between Haddenham and Aldreth.

MoD officials say the three turbines being proposed for Berry Fen “will cause unacceptable interference to the ATC radar at Cambridge Airport”.

Rachel Evans, assistant safeguarding officer with the MoD, said: “Wind turbines have been shown to have detrimental effects on the performance of ATC and range control radars.

“These effects cause 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.”


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Ms Evans added that if the applicant proved able to overcome issues with radar interference, the MoD would request all turbines be fitted with red or infra-red lighting to alert aircraft.

The company behind the plans, REG Windpower, has applied to East Cambridgeshire District Council to erect the turbines, standing up to 125metres tall, between Haddenham and Aldreth, which is almost 17km from Cambridge Airport.

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The company says it will set up a community fund worth thousands of pounds every year to the villages if the wind farm is approved.

An online campaign group in favour of the turbines, Say Yes to Berry Fen Wind Farm, has attracted more than 200 followers.

The application is set to be decided by East Cambridgeshire District Council’s planning committee in the summer.

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