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Popham windfarm threat

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  • Popham windfarm threat

    When at Popham last weekend I was nicely approached (as was pretty well everyone else that I could see) by these people

    Their issue is a planning proposal for a largish windfarm close to the airfield boundary. Given the size, the amount of time the threat has been present and its proximity to the airfield, I'm surprised there hasn't been more of a fuss on aviation forums and none that I can find on this one. the only thread Google has found me is this one on Flyer forum.

    I've written to one of our council members about it, asking if they've received any request for assistance from the fighting fund (after all, every little helps).

    After all, we wouldn't want the trade fair, and first major fly-in of the microlighting year, to be put at risk, would we?


  • #2
    Popham windfarm threat

    At risk? I've just done a forced landing downwind of a bunch of pylons and a growing wind farm near our village.

    Not the slightest issue for an average pilot, and you are above this level.

    Wind farms are ugly, but hardly a problem to a competent aviator


    BMAA 5696

    "If anybody ever tells you anything about an aeroplane which is so bloody complicated you can't understand it, take it from me: it's all balls."

    R.J. Mitchell :- Designer of the Supermarine Spitfire


    • #3
      Popham windfarm threat

      When you originally aired the subject Joan, I mailed in the following objection, which has been acknowledged. I am not sure, timewise, if you can have your objection included, but the following may help with the basis :-

      In respect of Planning ref 13/00800/FUL, Planning ref 13/00046/FUL, Planning ref 13/00753/FULN

      Dear Planning department Officers,

      I strongly object to the proposed Wind farm, near Bullington Cross. The motive for their erection would disappear, if there were no 'honey pot' grant available. It is just another scheme by an unscrupulous Energy Company to maximise profit, at the expense of everyone who values this landscape - surely one of the most beautiful in England.

      Their value in Energy terms would be tiny. In carbon terms they will struggle to pay back the carbon used in their manufacture and erection. Their proposal to put these megaliths within three or four miles of a popular and well used Airfield, will touch the flight path for taking off and landing. The ensuing turbulence will pose a danger to Airfield users much of the time, since they are up-wind of the prevailing average wind direction in the UK.

      Is there no limit to these cynical people, who would desecrate our heritage and endanger others lives, for the sake of the chance to grab some grant money, while contributing very little.

      Ted Snook
      BMAA member 1294


      • #4
        Popham windfarm threat

        Really economic system. "nice work if you can get it". but YOU are paying
        Quote: 1
        Scotland’s biggest energy firms have been paid £12million to shut down their giant turbines when the weather is too windy.

        In total, more than £18million has been given to the owners of 19 windfarms since 2010 to stop them producing more electricity than the National Grid can cope with.

        Two-thirds of the cash has gone to three of the country’s biggest energy companies – ScottishPower, Scottish and Southern Energy and npower.

        Between them, they operate 13 windfarms which have received £12million in “constraint payments” from the National Grid to shut some turbines down.
        Wind farms were paid £25million not to produce electricity when it is 'too windy' last year, figures revealed today.

        There was a staggering 13,733 per cent rise in the payments on the year before.

        Turbine operators are ordered by the National Grid to shutdown to avoid too much power being produced during gales.

        Read more:
        Follow us: @MailOnline on Twitter | DailyMail on Facebook

        Quote 2
        On one day alone companies were paid £1.6million not to produce energy in October last year.

        Read more:
        Follow us: @MailOnline on Twitter | DailyMail on Facebook


        • #5
          Popham windfarm threat

          I think the thing that disturbs me the most about the Gutter press is the way we, the public, "selectively" believe them.

          When it's a story about a "microlight horror death plunge" we say it's utter rubbish and they are irresponsible for publishing it. When it's a story about a utility company being paid for electricity they produce during times of low demand we believe it.

          Laurie (2)


          • #6
            Popham windfarm threat

            The Bullington Cross wind farm development has been turned down. It won't let me upload the file, but the main reasons are unacceptability of the scheme in a place of great architectural interest, and unacceptable impact on safety for MOD aircraft including Helicopters. Also contrary to National planning framework.
            Popham isn't directly mentioned, but it looks like the Windfarms scheme will have insurmountable hurdles to overcome now, so hopefully Popham is safe from this threat at least.


            • #7
              Popham windfarm threat

              After the previous planning application was rejected, they revised it and it's on the table again. The new appeals will be heard on the 13th October at a public inquiry, and I understand that the Councils concerned will give formal notice when the venues and arrangements have been made.
              It is important to note that the grounds for previous rejection were mainly to do with the impact on heritage - not flying - and if they have taken steps to sufficiently mitigate those concerns, they may have a chance of success.
              Our main objection is a safety one, in that the erection of Wind farms, adjacent to our take off and landing patterns, poses an unacceptable and real hazard to aviation. The threat to Popham as an aviation amenity will not, in itself carry much weight.
              A liaison with other objectors could well be of benefit, since EDF Energy are behind the proposal and they have unlimited resources to push it through.
              The projects can be viewed at the address below, but that may not be all, since there are two linked Wind farms proposed.



              • #8
                Popham windfarm threat

                I dont see safety being used as an argument Ted, have a look at Caernarfon and there are two wind turbines at the side of the second runway albeit now an unlicencesed runway but none the less its still used.



                • #9
                  Popham windfarm threat

                  Really Terry. Haven't you seen the disturbed air patterns that are created by them?. I'm for green energy too, but not near airfields. Perhaps a look at this might give you a better handle on the topic....



                  • #10
                    Popham windfarm threat

                    The objection lodged by the owners of Popham to the other windfarm also has some interesting information on wake effects:

                    There's a general update on the Popham website here:


                    • #11
                      Popham windfarm threat

                      The CAA has concluded its research into wake effects

                      It will be interesting to see what the Conservative pledge to "end new subsidies for onshore wind" actually means, not least for projects in the planning process!


                      • #12
                        Popham windfarm threat

                        Hi there,

                        The new CAA guidance is little different from the old:

                        16 rotor diameters and under from the airfield = bad news for aviatiors.

                        Light aircraft, microlights, powered parachutes etc are still regarded as being more susceptible to rotor vortex turbulence.

                        At Strathaven Airfield, we have developed a simple protocol:


                        Basically, take a 2km radius ring around the airfield mid-point, take a 20 rotor diameter ring around the proposed turbine site, and if the two rings overlap then we have a concern.

                        Note: I said "concern" rather than "object" - there are instances, such as very small Proven turbines, where we have had no objection.

                        And, despite the lack of Mandatory Occurance Reports, there is significant turbulence from these. We must be able to see at least 200 turbines from the house at Strathaven Airfield, so we do have some idea of what we are talking about!


                        • #13
                          Popham windfarm threat

                          I have just been notified, as a protester, by Basingstoke and Deane Borough Council Planning Officer, that the appeal against the rejection of the Wind Farm scheme - mainly due to the fight by heritage groups - I have to say, has been withdrawn and the scheme is now dead.

                          The timing, soon after the Government announced the withdrawal of subsidies for 'on shore' wind farms, reinforces my belief that it was always about cashing in on subsidies - never the 'green' ethic, but Popham is safe now - at least from this threat.