By Kaye Nicolson

Campaigners in Moray and the north-east have hit out after it emerged that a revolutionary new radar system could lead to more wind turbines being built.

The technology has passed tests that proved its ability to detect the difference between aircraft and turbine blades.

Existing systems are unable to identify each turbine and airports and the Ministry of Defence have raised concerns about nearby windfarms causing crowding on radar screens.

If further tests are successful, radar developer Aveillant said the new system could be operating by the end of the year.

Last night, Lhanbryde resident George Herraghty, an outspoken opponent of windfarms, said: “It will maybe please the developers – but I don’t think it will please many other people. A recent John Muir survey showed 75% of people are all in favour of protecting wild land.”

Mr Herraghty, a member of Grampian and Moray mountaineering clubs and “wild-place” charity the John Muir Trust, added: “You still won’t have any power when the wind doesn’t blow – you also need a back-up.”

The new radar was demonstrated on turbines at Millour Hill windfarm near Prestwick Airport.

Engineer and wind campaigner Jim Bain, of Banff, said any measures that could make airports safer were a good thing.

But he added: “The only problem is that these radars are not cheap and, if the wind turbine companies can afford to pay for that out of their subsidies, then we shouldn’t have given them the subsidies in the first place.”

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