Plymouth military radar objection to Ermington turbine

HMS Ocean
Image caption HMS Ocean is based at Devonport, about eight miles from the planned turbine

Defence officials have objected to a planned wind turbine in south Devon, saying it will affect a military radar.

They claim the 86.5m (284ft) turbine in Ermington would cause "unacceptable interference" with air operations around Plymouth, eight miles away.

South Hams District Council (SHDC), which received the objection, will make a decision later this year after the parish council objected.

Developer REG Windpower was unavailable for comment.

REG, which operates 12 wind farms around the UK, is planning a single turbine at Luson Farm near Ermington.

The parish council agreed last week that the planned turbine would be too large for the area and voted against it.

'Wrong location'

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 Ministry of Defence (MoD) said in the letter to SHDC that the radar at HMS Cambridge in Plymouth, which oversees flights by military aircraft in and out of Plymouth, would be affected.

It said: "Wind turbines have been shown to have detrimental affects on the performance of MoD air traffic control and range control radars.

"These include the desensitisation of radar in the vicinity of turbines and the creation of 'false' aircraft returns which air traffic controllers must treat as real."

Sue Martin of turbine objectors South Hams Opposes Unwanted Wind Turbines, said: "We are not against renewables, but it is in the wrong location.

"There has to be a balance between development of wind turbines and their settings."

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