Concerns plans for radar on Daedalus could set precedent for IFA2

National Air Traffic Services is looking to put a 25m-high radar near the airfield at Daedalus
National Air Traffic Services is looking to put a 25m-high radar near the airfield at Daedalus
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FEARS have been raised that a bid to build a 25m-high radar tower at Daedalus could open the door to other developments.

Concerns were voiced by councillors on plans for the tower at the enterprise zone in Gosport.

A diagram of Nats' proposed radar tower at Daedalus

A diagram of Nats' proposed radar tower at Daedalus

An application has been submitted to landowner Fareham Borough Council by air traffic controller Nats to build a radar testing and training facility – called a radar reference facility – at Daedalus.

But members of the regulatory board on Gosport Borough Council are concerned that allowing the radar to be built could see any plans to stop National Grid building an interconnector on another part of Daedalus hit the buffers.

Speaking at a meeting, council leader Mark Hook said: ‘One of my main issues is that if we allow something that is 25m high then that will allow the 22m-high IFA2 to be built.

‘I would hope they wouldn’t, but Fareham Borough Council could turn around and say that we didn’t have a problem with the height of the radar, so why are we complaining about a development which is not as tall?’

One of my main issues is that if we allow something that is 25m high then that will allow the 22m-high IFA2 to be built.

Councillor Mark Hook

Although the radar would be within Gosport, the land is owned by Fareham Borough Council and permission is needed from that authority

Gosport council has been invited to comment as part of the planning application consultation process.

Cllr Hook added: ‘In our submission on the plans, I want to make sure we cover this.

‘It is difficult because there is no planning application for the IFA2 but I want to make sure we voice our concerns.’

Other issues raised by councillors include the short distance between the radar and people living in Bayntun Drive, Lee-on-the-Solent.

Houses are about 145m from the proposed site.

Councillor Chris Carter said: ‘Being only 145m away means it is as close to the Gosport boundary as it can be.

‘It is close to our residents.’

Cllr Hook added: ‘I want to know how it will affect the people living nearby and if we can reduce the impact construction will have on the people living in Bayntun Drive.’

Nats held consultations last month to give residents the chance to give their views.
To comment on the plans search for P/16/0270/FP at fareham.gov.uk.
A Nats spokesperson said: ‘Radar is a hugely important tool for our air traffic controllers, who use it to keep aircraft safely separated from each other.

‘We look forward to a decision being made by Fareham Borough Council on this proposal.

‘Any other planning application proposed for the site is a matter for the local planning authorities.’