Villagers Fight Planned Radar Station
Residents of the southern Estonian village of Pilkuse, near Otepää, have met with Air Force representatives in an effort to keep a planned radar installation from being built in their proverbial back yards.
At a community meeting last week, locals voiced their objections to having the Ground Master medium-range air surveillance radar system installed in the area. Concerns included potential drops in property values as well as worries about effects on the environment. Some present also said they did not like the idea of having a military object within a few hundred meters of their homes.
Estonia owns two of the Ground Master systems. One is slated for installation on the island of Muhu, the other in south Estonia, ETV reported.
Though a mobile phone network tower has already been erected at the site in question, the radar station would require installation of far more infrastructure, including buildings, roads and a helipad.
A Ministry of Defense representative said that of 30 theoretical sites for the installations, only two meet the technical requirements. The ministry has also said that the radar system and its infrastructure would not harm the local environment, nor would it pose a health risk to neighbors.
Locals nevertheless said they wanted to speak to those living near the Kellavere radar station in Lääne-Viru county about their experiences and would ask that the Air Force consider putting the facility in a less populated area.