Devon

Ermington turbine rejected after radar fears

  • 6 September 2013
  • From the section Devon
Protest sign
Image caption Protesters said the planned turbine would have been in the "wrong location"

Protesters have won their fight against a planned wind turbine in south Devon after defence officials said it would affect military radar.

The Ministry of Defence (MoD) claimed the 86.5m (284ft) turbine at Ermington would interfere with air operations around Plymouth, eight miles away.

South Hams District Council (SHDC) rejected the application, also saying the turbine would look out of place.

Applicant REG Windpower said it was "disappointed" by the decision.

'Negative impact'

REG, which operates 12 wind farms around the UK, applied for a turbine at Luson Farm near Ermington.

Plymouth is the home to Devonport docks, the largest naval base in western Europe and its fleet includes the Royal Navy's largest warship HMS Ocean.

The MoD said in the letter to the council that the radar at HMS Cambridge in Plymouth, which oversees flights by military aircraft in and out of Plymouth, would be affected.

Sue Martin of turbine objectors South Hams Opposes Unwanted Wind Turbines, said: "As a community, we believe in renewable sources of energy which provide a valuable contribution to the UK energy mix.

"However, in relation to this scheme, it is clear that it is the wrong renewable in the wrong location.

"On balance, the case for the limited amount of electricity gained against the significant negative impact on this part of the South Hams has not been made."

A spokesman for REG Windpower said: "We always strive to design projects capable of generating significant quantities of safe, clean, renewable electricity while minimising the impact on the local environment.

"Therefore we are disappointed that South Hams Council's officers have decided to refuse our proposal."

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