To ask the Secretary of State for Defence pursuant to the answer of 20 March 2008, Official Report, column 1311W, on radar: wind power, what guidelines his Department provides on the siting of wind farms in relation to maintaining working aerial defences; and how many planning applications have been refused on the grounds that windmills may interfere with defence equipment.
All wind farm applications which are assessed to fall within line of sight of an air defence radar are subject to individual consideration. This scrutiny includes consideration of a range of factors which will be particular to each application in order to assess the likely operational impact of the scheme should it proceed. An objection will be lodged if the operational impact is assessed as being unmanageable. Where an objection is lodged mitigation options will be suggested to the developer where possible.
The Ministry of Defence does not hold information on planning applications refused, however, since 2005 the Department has objected to 54 pre-planning applications for wind turbines on the grounds of interference with defence equipment. Of those objections, three were subsequently withdrawn.