Saturday, 4 July 2015

The Sheepwash Times

Your Community Magazine

"Delivered free to 5,250 homes in Branston, Heighington, Washingborough, Branston Booth, Canwick and Potterhanworth... the Sheepwash Times is 'Your Community Magazine' ".

It might be their 'Community Magazine', but it certainly isn't ours... yet! The Sheepwash Times are kind enough to host some of our articles, but we are not included on their circulation list. You may like to see what the Editor had to say when I emailed him:

Original Enquiry

From: Geoff Hall
Sent: 27 June 2015 14:58
Subject: Circulation - The Sheepwash Times

Hi Ben,
I am the chap behind the online Nocton blog and have just been given a copy of your community magazine.

I see you have published a number of articles relating to our village of Nocton in the magazine for July 2015/Issue No 79, but see that:
  1. Nocton is not mentioned on the front cover of the magazine, nor
  2. Do Nocton village residents appear to benefit from the circulation of this excellent publication.
For some years, Nocton has relied upon the Nocton ‘Doodle’ (a simple community leaflet) to keep updated with forthcoming events, or reports thereof. However, this is no longer to be supplied in ‘hard copy’ format. This leaves many residents bereft of local community news, although those with internet access can still view village news online.

You will see on my blog ‘Companion Sites’ that a number relate to businesses. If they were to see your excellent publication circulated around the village, you may gain some additional advertising revenue that will contribute to, or indeed cover, the costs of providing The Sheepwash Times to every household in Nocton. I’m not aware how you ensure deliveries, but there were local residents who used to hand deliver the Nocton Doodle… and who may pick up the mantle if your community magazine were to be made available here.

Please will you consider the viability of allowing Nocton village residents the opportunity to have a copy of The Sheepwash Times, even if it is only for a trial period of say 12 months. I look forward to hearing from you in due course.



From: Sheepwash Times
Sent: 30 June 2015 14:16
To: Geoff Hall
Subject: Re: Circulation - The Sheepwash Times

Hi Geoff,
It is something we are considering but the additional costs involved make it unlikely in the near future. It is not just the cost of the production and delivery of the 500ish copies required for Nocton but also the cost of additional pages to all copies of the Sheepwash Times caused by additional content. The likely cost is in the region of £500 per month in all and that will be a challenge to get from additional advertising at the moment.

Can I assume that, as you make no mention of it, the MACLA news is not that useful for Nocton? If so, would that be because it is only quarterly or does it not serve the village well?

I would like to be able to do something for Nocton at some point. Can I ask you which villages Nocton naturally groups with, in your opinion? It is always best to have an honest local view of how a village sees itself rather than us having to make judgements about which settlements go together.

Thank you in advance for any help you can give.

Kind regards,
Ben Cann

My response

From: Geoff Hall
Sent: 30 June 2015 15:12
To: 'Sheepwash Times'
Subject: RE: Circulation - The Sheepwash Times

Hi Ben,
Many thanks for your reply.

I can see why the costs of production may inhibit circulation, but you will probably see why your publication would be useful for our village, when I attempt to answer your further queries:
  • MACLA fulfils a certain need – which is incorporating Nocton with other local villages’ news – but as this is a quarterly publication, by the time it is circulated it is sometimes the case that events have passed and the content appears dated. Neither is it a colour publication. I must emphasize though, the Editor has been extremely supportive in agreeing to accommodate Nocton by incorporating our material and circulating the magazine to the village. 
  • I think our natural grouping is with the village of Potterhanworth. The two communities provide the backbone of the Nocton & District Women’s Institute (which meets in Nocton Village Hall every month). Furthermore, our Parish Council has formed a partnership with Potterhanworth Parish Council with the aim of developing a formal Neighbourhood Plan. Lastly… but not least, the congregations of both All Saint’s Church at Nocton and St Andrew’s at Potterhanworth are supported by many residents from the other village… and I believe there is also the Community Choir at St Andrew’s which is also supported by residents of Nocton.
N.B. there was an attempt to include Dunston village in a ‘closer working relationship’  to prepare a tri-village Neighbourhood Plan, but the offer was declined sadly. The only connection that remains, is with support to the occasional Dunston Twinning Association event… and the ‘Dunston Hub’ that is held once a month.

Hope this helps,


Friday, 3 July 2015

Nocton Fen Wind Farm - objections

Vattenfall E-newsletter 13 - reminder

"Nocton Fen Statutory Consultation continues following public events

Over 475 residents attended our local events last month to have their say as part of the Statutory Consultation on our proposed project at Nocton Fen. We are now over half way through the consultation period and encourage you to continue to get involved and give us your views before the consultation closes on Monday 20 July.

Information on display at our event at Potterhanworth Memorial Hall

A copy of the Preliminary Environmental Information, Non Technical Summary (NTS), Community Investment Booklet, our Statement of Community Consultation, and a Consultation Feedback Form is available in hard copy format at various locations. You can also have your say online where all of the information is available to download.

You are receiving this newsletter as you have registered your interest in Nocton Fen. To unsubscribe email
Vattenfall Wind Power Ltd, Abbey Warehouse, Abbey Slip, Penzance, TR18 4AR.
T: 0800 3777348, E: You can now follow us on Twitter @NoctonFen."

Local Objections - making your voice heard locally

"Dear All,

Following on from Vattenfall's open public events, we now move into a period where Vattenfall will finalise their application before submission in the first  part of 2016.  Though the Government will remove subsidies from new onshore wind farms, Vattenfall are very clear that they will press ahead with this application.

This is also the period where we need to start making our objections known. PNF took an exit poll at all public events (Nocton, Potterhanworth, Bardney, Metheringham, Dunston and Branston), and the results were very conclusive. Of 423 people asked as they left the events and who gave an answer, 84% were against the wind farm, 6% for and the rest were undecided (10%). So amongst the local community, it is very clear the this development is not wanted.

However, we have heard that some Parish Councils have not been contacted with the views of by their parishioners. At this first stage, it is important that the Parish Councils are aware of your objections from their parishioners, so we ask that as many people write to the Parish Councils via the Clerks to voice their objections.
This is only the first stage of objections, but it is an important one.  We will be writing to you later in the year to detail how else we can object.

Best wishes,

Stephen Phillips QC MP

'To ask the Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change, with reference to the Written Statement of 18 June 2015, HC WS40, whether her Department plans to offer support under the enewables Obligation to the proposed Nocton Fen wind farm.'

Thursday, 2 July 2015

Nocton Fen Wind Farm - infrastructure

Infrastructure and Communications

Chapter 16 of the Preliminary Environmental Information assesses the impact on telecommunications, infrastructure and broadcast services.

I have concentrated on selecting those paragraphs which relate to the airwaves, rather than the 'hard' infrastructure, such overhead wiring, or underground piping/wiring.

Para 16.1.3: '... The results have shown there are National Grid pipelines, Anglian Water clean water pipes, Western Power Distribution electrical infrastructure and a number of microwave communication links both within the site and its close vicinity.'

Para 16.2.2: 'National Policy Statement for Renewable Energy Infrastructure (EN-3) is the overarching planning policy for NSIP wind farm applications... However, it makes no mention of the assessments required with regards to onshore wind farms and existing infrastructure, telecommunications and broadcast services.'

Para 16.2.4: '... Wind turbines can potentially affect electromagnetic transmissions (e.g. radio, television and phone signals)...'

Para 16.2.6: 'Since a large number of bodies use communications systems and some of the users are commercially sensitive or of strategic military importance, consultation with the relevant authorities/bodies is important...'

Para 16.3.20: 'It is known that wind turbines have the potential to adversely affect terrestrial reception up to a maximum distance of 5km (Ofcom, 2009). There are a number of properties within 5km of the Site, and so the potential for interference is established. However, all transmitters in the UK are now fully switched over to digital signals, which reduces the likelihood or interference with the television signal.'

Para 16.5.5: 'Wind farms can also affect electromagnetic signals...'

Para 16.5.7: 'An area has been identified (see Figure 1.4) for potential measures to mitigate effects on microwave links crossing the site... Consultation is still ongoing regarding the measures required...'

Para 16.7.11: '... Larger residential areas, such as Bardney and Nocton are approximately 1.75km away from the nearest turbines. It is therefore unlikely that a significant deterioration in signal would be experienced.'

Para 16.11.10: 'Discussions with JRC have led to the conclusion that 3 scanning links, and one fixed link will be affected unacceptably by the Project unless suitable mitigation is implemented. It has therefore been provisionally agreed by the Applicant will finance a technical solution to remove the interference...'

Para 16.11.12: 'In the unlikely event of a reduction in television reception quality occurring in the surrounding area, it is most likely to be noticed when the Project becomes operational... the Applicant will accept a Requirement to assess current television signals in advance of the construction of the Project and mitigate post-development problems with television reception arising where effects are attributable to it.'

Para 16.11.13: '... and to implement solutions in a timely manner so as to minimise any inconvenience to residents...'

Table 16.7 - 'A mixed solution is likely to be required which may include: Re-tuning some TVs to an alternative transmitter, which may overcome possible interference for some; and Providing an alternative form of reception, e.g. satellite dish or more powerful aerial.'

My thoughts

Although Para 16.7.11 indicates 'a significant deterioration' of  signal reception is 'unlikely', there is clearly potential for the wind turbines to affect terrestrial TV reception. If it does happen though, it has the potential of significantly disrupting the favourite pastime of watching 'telly'.

Any remedial actions should be taken quickly... by that I mean within 24 hours of the complaint being lodged. It is not satisfactory for people to be left hanging around with a poor TV service, paying out for a licence fee and not being able to watch their favourite programmes. Any costs of providing a remedy... and a replacement service, if the terrestrial option cannot be sorted... should be borne by the applicant.

The NPPF makes no mention of the assessments required with regard to wind farms and existing infrastructure, telecommunications and broadcast services. It can be seen here how it could impact on local residents - a policy paper should therefore be commissioned by HM Government without further delay to have a robust process in place should the 'unlikely' actually come to fruition.

Wednesday, 1 July 2015

Nocton Fen Wind Farm - aviation

Aviation... and wind turbines

The Importance of Lincolnshire in the Defence of the Realm

Wind turbines can interfere with radar, reflecting microwave signals sufficiently to obscure/erase aircraft from a controllers screen... which for obvious reasons isn't a very good thing when the Vattenfall project is such a short distance from RAF Waddington and other crucial bases.

Current MoD and RAF Stations
  1. RAF Barkston Heath - Home to elements of No 3 Flying Training School (3FTS)
  2. RAF Coningsby - 3, 11, 29(R) Squadrons (Eurofighter Typhoon) and 41 (R) (Test and Evaluation Squadron) (Tornado GR4).
  3. RAF Cranwell - Home to RAF College Cranwell, HQ Air Cadets and Officers and Aircrew Selection Centre'.
  4. RAF Digby - Tri-service command establishment (and also US tri-service presence)
  5. RAF Donna Nook - Bombing range
  6. RAF Holbeach - Bombing range
  7. RAF Kirton in Lindsey - Accommodation unit for RAF Scampton personnel
  8. RAF Scampton - Currently home to the Red Arrows, Number 1 Air Control Centre and the 'RAF Mobile Meteorological Unit'.
  9. RAF Waddington - Home to all E-3 Sentry, Sentinel R-1, MQ9-Reaper and RC-135 Air Seeker aircraft.

Inside Britain's drone base

'RAF pilots in rural Lincolnshire are flying drone aircraft on the other side of the world.'

RAF jets intercept Russian bomber aircraft off Cornwall

'The Ministry of Defence in London said the Typhoons had been scrambled from RAF Coningsby in Lincolnshire.'

RAF Mobile Meteorological Unit

The majority of the RAF Mobile Meteorological Unit (MMU) is based at RAF Scampton. This is a Reserve Force Unit whose role is to provide crucial meteorological (weather) services to our Armed Forces personnel when serving on deployed operations throughout the world.

Winds of change – aviation and wind energy

'The growth of wind energy in the UK has created an increasing challenge for aviation and air traffic control in particular.'

Preliminary Environmental Information

Vol 1. Chapter 15 - Aviation

Para 15.1.3: 'The potential for the Project to have an effect on aviation interests has been considered, either in terms of Air Traffic Control (ATC) radars or flight operations of the National Air Traffic Services (NATS), the Ministry of Defence (MoD) Low Flying System (UKLFS) and aerodrome operations at RAF Waddington, Coningsby, Cranwell and Scampton. A potential effect has further been identified for the UK Met Office Ingham Weather Radar system.'

Para 15.2.15: '... The recommended consultation zone within the vicinity of an aerodrome with a surveillance radar facility is 30 kilometres (km). However, it is acknowledged that objections from beyond the recommended aviation stakeholder consultation distances can potentially be sustainable and valid...'

Para 15.7.3: '... turbines may resemble real aircraft targets and could also mask genuine aircraft returns... The radar may also be de-sensitised by clutter processing within the sector containing turbines, resulting in real aircraft targets disappearing from the radar display screen.'

Para 15.7.5: '... At proposed blade tip heights of 149.5m, the Project is highly likely to cause clutter to be presented on ATC display screens.'

Para 15.7.9: 'The Project is located within LFA11 and may present a restriction to the flow of low flying aircraft.'

Para 15.7.10: '... it is acknowledged that there is an increased risk in low-visibility conditions, where pilots performing high energy manoeuvres could experience a delay in visually acquiring obstacles, such as turbines, hence resulting in a potentially unsafe situation.'

Para 15.10.1: 'It is known that ANSPs have concerns regarding the increasing impact of wind turbines on radar and operations in the region, and it is acknowledged that additional wind development has the potential to lead to cumulative effects. The combined effect of numerous turbines or multiple wind farms can be difficult to mitigate...'

Para 15.10.2: 'There are a number of operational, consented and proposed wind farms, at various stages in the planning process, within 40km of the Project.'

Para 15.10.3: ' None... are located within 20km of the Project as such, this is not likely to present a cumulative impact concern.'

Para 15.11: '...The Project Raytheon Modification solution aims to remove the turbine-generated clutter from a controller's display screen whilst ensuring the essential ability to detect, track and provide navigational assistance to aircraft is maintained.'

Para 15.11.2: '...should a Project RM upgrade to the Claxby PSR be implemented, it is considered likely to be operationally acceptable for mitigation of the effects of the Project on the Claxby PSR. Formal confirmation is awaited; stakeholder consultation is ongoing.'

Para 15.11.3: ' An additional radar sensor can potentially be located within or adjacent to a wind farm... to reject the turbine returns as clutter... to enhance the display by suppressing the turbine returns.'

Para 15.11.5: '... The MoD has accepted a mitigation proposal based on the implementation of a Resolution Infill option, as detailed in Osprey (2014): Nocton Fen Mitigation Strategy Report and agreement is anticipated to be reached through suitable Requirements.'

Para 15.11.7: 'To ensure the continued safe operations of military low flying aircraft, the MoD has stipulated a requirement for the implementation of suitable aviation obstruction lighting...The applicant shall comply fully with these requirements...'

Para 15.12.3: 'The applicant acknowledges that the Project is likely to have a significant effect on the aviation stakeholders... However, the implementation of feasible technical mitigation solutions... would result in the Project having a negligible residual effect on the operations of these receptors.'

Military radar deal paves way for more wind farms across Britain

Thousands more wind turbines can now be built across Britain after energy companies struck behind-the-scenes deals to overcome military objections to wind farms.

Windfarms and the CAA

'The CAA recommends pre-planning consultation to establish both civil and military aviation related issues at the earliest possible stage. We do not formally participate in the pre planning process, however, when a planning application is submitted to a Local Planning Authority the CAA will respond to any consultation sent by the council in question.'

The Aviation Plan: 2015 Update

'In respect of the interaction of wind turbines and aviation interests.'

An interesting extract from p7 'The Task Ahead':
'Whilst there has been clear progress, there is not one single technical mitigation solution that meets operational needs and satisfies safety and regulatory requirements in every circumstance.'

Tuesday, 30 June 2015

200 Club - results

Winners for May

'Hi Geoff

Please could you publish this on the Nocton Blog.

Nocton 200 Club

Here are the winners of the May draw held today at Nocton Club on 26 June.
  • 1st [211] Shaun Casey 
  • 2nd [177] Jenny and Mike Kaye
  • 3rd [223] Mr and Mrs S Marshall

The July draw will be on Friday 28 July at 8.30pm in Nocton Club.

Not a member? You can still join for the last half of 2015.

Contact Jim Eagle (01526 322285).  email.