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UK: Noise complaints at 37 of 255 wind farms

Human impacts, News, Wind turbines Add comments

Here’s a bit of news that might be spun either way, depending on your predilection.  Jane Davis, who was driven from her home by wind farm noise, has been compiling information on English wind farms and noise complaints; she has found that 37 wind farms have spurred some sort of noise complaints nationwide.  This amounts to about 1 in 7 UK wind farms, in contrast to an oft-repeated mantra that “only four” UK wind farms had noise issues, and they’d been “resolved.”  The new numbers could support those cautioning that wind farm noise issues are more widespread than generally acknowledged, AND those who claim that noise issues are the exception rather than the rule; it certainly reinforces AEI’s theme that we need to acknowledge that a minority of people are affected by noise around wind farms, and that we must come to grips with how to address this.

This article in the Telegraph details some of the information shared at a gathering of wind farm noise campaigners, WindCon2010.  Gillian Haythornthwaite, who lives near the wind farm in Askam with her partner Barry Moon, said it has been a “devastating” experience. “It is a dreadfully irritating whoosh, whoosh noise,” she said. “It is unbearable to be outside in the garden when there is the noise.”

Davis claims that many people are reluctant to make complaints because they fear nothing will be done. “This is not about saying no wind farms anywhere, this is about saying lets have wind farms in the right place with the right regulations,” she said.

Dick Bowdler, an acoustic consultant, used to advise the Government on wind farm noise. However he resigned because he felt concerns about noise from wind farms were not being followed up.  “I have no doubt that there are some people who are seriously affected by wind farm noise,” he said. Mr Bowdler said it was impossible to complain because the noise limits set for wind farms are too high. “You cannot do anything except for a make a lot of fuss,” he said. “What is needed is stricter standards that bring wind farms into line with every other industrial noise.”

One Response to “UK: Noise complaints at 37 of 255 wind farms”

  1. » Blog Archive » UK addresses challenges in assessing wind farm noise Says:

    […] out later this year, and should make it easier for local councils to respond to noise complaints.  A recent survey suggests that about one in seven UK wind farms have spurred noise complaints; noise campaigners […]