Weston Hills Wind Turbines

 

The closing date for representations to the North Hertforshire District Council is 1 December 2008.

 

North Hertfordshire District Council has received a planning application for 3 wind turbines at Weston Hills, affecting Graveley airfield and the Luton Stansted gap. 

If you look at your half-mil south you will find Graveley airfield in the north-east corner of the Luton CTR.  You can see the proposed location of the wind farm here. Just south-east of Letchworth and Baldock  The proposed wind farm would be about 2nm north east of the airfield with 3 turbines rising to an altitude of some 950 ft amsl.  As this would constitute a “congested area” under ANO Rule 5 so it would be necessary to avoid the turbines by 1000ft vertically or 600m horizontally creating an obstruction to aircraft in Class G airspace transiting the Luton/Stansted gap. 

 

VFR access to Gravely is not above 1000ft amsl and strictly limited to routing in a sector North-West to East but the existing towns block off most of that so the turbines would be in the only clear access area. There would be no alternative route clear of the Luton approach and departure tracks so if this is approved and built, Graveley airfield would probably become unusable.  This airfield has been in use for 20 years 

You will know that the Luton-Stansted gap is a problem area for navigation and that airspace incursions are of concern.  This development would narrow the gap and is likely to increase the probability of mid-air collision increasing risk to light aircraft and their occupants, the risk to commercial public transport aircraft and their passengers and the risk to persons and property on the ground.

The details of the planning application are not on the Council’s website but the LAA has a copy on disc.  It does not contain a great deal of interest to aviation stakeholders except a statement by the applicant that local aerodromes have been consulted and have no objection to the proposal.  This is clearly untrue.

The LAA has written to Luton Airport, Stansted Airport and NATS to point out the increased incursion risk that this application might incur.  We hope they will support our position.

Remember in the planning game, numbers count so please send your view in.  If you only say you object because of the effect on Graveley airfield and the aircraft access route between Luton and Stansted, that will be useful.

The easiest way to register your view with the council is to fill in the very short online form here on the North Herts Council website

Or You can email Richard.tiffin@north-herts.gov.uk quoting planning reference 08/00047/1

Or write to:

Richard Tiffin,

Council Offices,

Gernon Rd,

Letchworth Garden City,

HERTS SG6 3JF