Touted as a viable alternative to coal, gas and nuclear, the bid to cover the UK in wind turbines is now facing mounting opposition. Not only are they under attack from their neighbours, airports, and tourist attractions they are also coming under fire from the military. The Ministry of Defence has already opposed at least four wind farms in Northumberland, saying they make it impossible to detect aircraft flying overhead.

Air Chief Marshal Sir Jock Stirrup, the chief of the defence staff, insists the UK’s radar capabilities must not be impaired. At a public inquiry into plans for 18 turbines at Middlemoor near Alnwick, these objections were raised. An MoD spokesman told the inquiry:

“The proposed turbines would cause problems because they would be in direct line of sight of the defence radar station at Brizlee Wood, near Alnwick.”

The MoD has denied it will automatically lodge objections to new plans, saying: “All wind farm applications are assessed on a site-by-site basis. “Whenever possible, we seek to find a mutually acceptable solution.” But the MoD raised the same objection at a ongoing public inquiry into plans for turbines in Tynedale and this prompted an angry response for the body representing wind farm companies.

The British Wind Energy Association (BWEA) says the building of wind farms is “stuck” because of planning hold-ups and Ministry of Defence objections.