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Defence block on £1m turbine plan

A 4 Navitas turbine bid has been blocked by the MoD because of potential interference to BAE Systems radar in Warton.

A 4 Navitas turbine bid has been blocked by the MoD because of potential interference to BAE Systems radar in Warton.

AN ENERGY firm says a £1m investment into modern turbine technology for the Fylde coast could be wasted after the Ministry of Defence objected because of the effect to BAE Systems.

Weeton-based 4 Navitas had hoped to build two vertical axis wind turbines in the area – one at its base at Swarbrick Hall Farm and another at Todderstaffe Hall Farm in Singleton.

The project would create up to 80 jobs for the region.

But they say barriers have been put up by the Ministry of Defence (MoD) over the interference it would cause to the radar at Warton Aerodrome.

4 Navitas’ managing director Dominic M’Benga said the revolutionary turbine would have less of an impact than standard ones on the radar because of a reduction in the number of blades, or wings.

He said: “To our surprise we received an objection from the MOD in regard to the radar at BAE Systems. They claimed that the wind turbine would interfere with the Air Traffic Control Radar at Warton.

“The MoD has acknowledged that the height is not an issue, just the moving parts. BAE Systems further stated that it is not about our height, but it is about radar proliferation in the area.”

Mr M’Benga said 4 Navitas held meetings with the MoD last Wednesday, when it was told the objection would be withdrawn.

But because it is still in place, the delay could result in the firm selling its designs to an overseas company, wasting its massive investment.

Mr M’Benga added: “The objection is still in place and our business and in fact this exciting project is being put at risk. Our company has spent more than £1m on this project, of which 25 per cent can be attributed to the unnecessary delay.”

The MoD is also using the radar at BAE as a reason to object to two other turbines in Chorley, some 20 miles away. A spokeswoman said: “The proposed turbine would cause unacceptable interference to the Air Traffic Control radar at Warton. This decision is based on our current understanding, information, operations and processes.”

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