Carlisle City Council has refused planning permission for a six-turbine wind farm at Hallburn, Longtown, in Cumbria, following objections from the Ministry of Defence.
The MoD said the scheme, proposed by REG Windpower on behalf of The Cornwall Light and Power Company, would affect the “operational functionality” of its Eskadlemuir Seismological Recording Station. This facility is part of the international monitoring system established to help verify compliance with the nuclear arms Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty.
The proposed site was around 40 kilometres from the MoD facility and falls within its statutory safeguarded area.
Research jointly commissioned by the Government, the wind energy industry and the MoD confirmed that wind turbines of current designs generate seismic noise which can interfere with the work carried out at the listening station.
The station can cope with some noise interference but that limit has already been reached. The MoD is now objecting to new wind turbines in the safeguarded area unless their seismic noise impact can be ameliorated.
The council noted that to ensure compliance with the Treaty, countries which are party to it must not interfere with the verification system. The safeguarded area had a noise budget. “At present this budget has been reached and the proposed turbines will generate additional seismic noise that will compromise the capability of the UK to detect distant nuclear tests and breach the agreement under the Treaty,” concluded the planning authority.
25 August 2011