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Welsh Assembly committee urges caution in rural wind farm siting

Human impacts, News, Wind turbines Add comments

The Petiitions Committee of the Welsh Assembly, which includes members from four diverse political parties, has issued a report on its investigation of wind farm noise in Welsh communities.  The report is short but concisely comprehensive in considering input from residents with noise complaints, advocates of wind energy, and wind developers.  The committee suggests that in deeply rural areas, it may be necessary to “increase the (standard 500 metre) separation distance as appropriate, and in specified circumstances up to 1500 metres, according to environmental factors such as the topography and the ambient noise levels of the area.”  Sleep disruption was a major factor in complaints, and in the Committee’s recommendations, which quoted a recent editorial in the British Journal of Medicine, written by sleep expert Christopher Hanning.  After hearing reports of faulty turbines making grinding noises for weeks before being repaired, the Committee also recommended immediate shut down of those turbines, at least at night, until repairs can be made.

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