DEFENCE chiefs have expressed concern at the growing proliferation of wind turbines in the East Riding.
The Ministry of Defence (MoD) already objects to dozens of wind farms each year.
Developers hoped an upgraded system would cope better – but it may not be as effective as first thought.
An MoD letter said: “We are now more concerned about levels of turbine proliferation in this area than we were towards the start of the year.”
Energy company Eon is paying millions of pounds for the new system, which it hopes will not be affected by turbines.
The existing T102 radar will be replaced by a newer model, the TPS77.
This will remove a barrier to Eon’s huge Humber Gateway wind farm off the East Yorkshire coast.
But in the letter, sent to property agents George F White, the MoD said: “We are now inclined to be more cautious about the capabilities of this radar, pending the outcome of flight trials.”
George F White had been in contact with the MoD about a 66.7m turbine at Springdale Farm in Rudston, near Bridlington.
The application was withdrawn after it objected.
An East Riding councillor said the MoD had also told her it was worried. Margaret Chapman, ward member for East Wolds and Costal, said: “Originally, there was an idea this new radar would overcome the holes turbines are making in the radar, which put everybody at risk.
“But it would appear this is not going to be the case.”
The councillor was sent a letter from the MoD setting out their position.
It said turbines of 34m and below could now also be a problem – meaning there may be more objections in future, not fewer.
A defence spokesman said: “When the MoD was consulted on the Springdale Farm proposal, the assessment was undertaken against the TPS77 radar which is due to replace the T102 radar at Staxton Wold.
“This assessment was based on the characteristics and capabilities of the TPS77 radar, which differ from the T102 radar, and determined the turbine would be visible to radar and that the interference could not be managed.
“Therefore, the MoD objected to this application.
“The MoD has accepted, following the assessment of mitigation proposals for specific wind farms, that the TPS77 radar will provide mitigation subject to final flight trials.”
Testing of the new radar will begin in July.
(The truth is that Ministry concerns are over-ridden by a unit called MOD Safeguarding, an invention of Chris Huhne and answeravble only to the DECC. They are bureaucrats tasked with approving mitigation-Ed)