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Jodrell Bank says new homes would cause interference

Jodrell Bank near Goostrey

Scientists claim building nearly 120 new homes near the Jodrell Bank radio telescope in Cheshire would cause interference. And the University of Manchester has lodges a formal objection.

These radio telescopes, and the national and global networks which they are part of carry out unique and world-leading science across a wide range of astrophysics and cosmology. The facilities are used by most university astrophysics groups in the UK and by hundreds of scientists in the UK, Europe and across the globe.

Radio interference has an impact on almost all the observations which are carried out. It may reduce the effective sensitivity of observations and the precision with which particular measurements can be made such as the precise timing of pulsars.

Much effort is already devoted to recognising and trying to remove the worst interference from observations. Every increase in the amount of interference makes this more difficult and may reduce the amount of useful data.

– Letter of objection from Jodrell Bank Observatory

But council bosses say they support the pioneering work of world famous observatory and will address all fears during the planning process

“We take very seriously our responsibility to the Lovell Telescope at Jodrell Bank, which enjoys its own special planning consultation zone, established in 1973, and which is protected by complimentary policies within statutory development plans.

“Accordingly, the views of the University of Manchester will most definitely be taken into account.

“Cheshire East is keen to promote the tremendous scientific potential of Jodrell Bank and to ensure that an appropriate balance is struck between providing the homes that the country needs and the economic and educational benefits that the telescope provides.

“With this in mind, I have recently written to Planning Minister Brandon Lewis MP to ensure that the interests of Jodrell Bank are fully taken into account in planning decisions.”

– Councillor Michael Jones, Leader of Cheshire East Council

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Jodrell's new telescopes will stretch to Australia

The beginnings of the new array in the Australian desert Credit: PA

Jodrell Bank's new telescope array is being built in Australia and South Africa.

The Square Kilometre Array will be run from the observatory in Cheshire, combining signals from telescopes across the southern hemisphere.

Scientists will use the SKA to survey space faster and deeper than ever before. It will also be the biggest array of its kind in the world.

Millions for Jodrell Bank to study 'galactic evolution'

Jodrell Bank to be HQ for new radio telescope Credit: PA

The government is investing £100m in the Jodrell Bank Observatory in Cheshire, to scan the skies for clues to the evolution of the galaxy.

Jodrell will become the headquarters of a new radio telescope network called the Square Kilometre Array.

Science Minister, David Willets said: “Investment in science is a crucial part of this government’s long-term economic plan. It’s about investing in our future, helping grow new industries and create more jobs – and that will mean more financial security for people across the country.”

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