Wind farm Woodlane

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Reference information

Report by MP reveals 600 complaints made to English Local Authorities about turbine noise

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Onshore wind - Planning changes

The pledge to make changes

Survey sponsored by Chris Heaton Harris MP

In 2014 Chris Heaton Harris wrote to 265 Local Planning Authority Chief Executives to ask them about noise complaints from wind farms. The objective was to determine the extent to which people living near wind farms were being affected by noise and in particular by Amplitude Modulation.

Click below to download reports.


Action required to resolve the problems  

1. Major revision of ETSU R 97

- why do so many wind farms which meet ETSU standard cause noise complaints ?

- why does ETSU allow more noise at night than in the day &  more noise from turbines than other industries?

- why are limits based on the baseline noise LA90 rather than peak or equivalent levels of noise ?

- why has it not been revised since 1997 when turbines were much smaller ?

2. Strict limits on AM

Such conditions must take into account  :-

- the properties and characteristics of AM

- the level at which AM causes annoyance

- the repetitive character of the noise

- need for simplicity so that Local Authorities can deal effectively with complaints

- the precautionary principle

 Key points relating to noise

The conclusion in para 6.76 does not follow from the above points : The picture that emerges from the above detailed analysis is that noise for the majority of the residents surveyed is an infrequent occurrence, if experienced at all, whilst for others it is a significant issue. However, this observation does not account for the critical parameter of the variations in exposure to noise of the respondents…

Para 6.66 is misleading - people who are annoyed by the noise can be expected to dislike turbines - 72% of responses to Q26 disliked or strongly disliked the noise while 43% disliked or strongly disliked the visual appearance of the turbines Q13. Noise is therefore more likely to drive dislike than visual appearance as suggested by the analysis in para 6.66.

Scotland  - 80% of people who can hear a wind farm dislike the noise.

30% of people within 2km of a wind farm can hear turbine noise.

Download they report done by SLR for Scottish Government Published 2 July 2015

The Independent Noise Working Group is an independent, multi-disciplined group set up in response to requests from Chris Heaton Harris MP and the National Alliance of Wind farm Action Groups (NAWAG). The Group was set up to review the wind turbine noise phenomena known as amplitude modulation. This action was taken advise Government about how to ensure local communities are adequately protected from wind turbine noise.

The first study undertaken was to determine the extent of wind farm noise problems, to see if Amplitude Modulation was a significant contributor to noise complaints and to assess the effectiveness of action taken by local authorities in response to noise complaints.

Comment from Scotland

Noise emissions are the biggest fear for communities forced to host wind farms. Growing international evidence that turbine noise is a health hazard underlines the pressing need for a full-scale investigation.

Comments on Scottish Government report

Some wind farm developers under-estimate noise and other impacts at planning stage

Wind farm impact ‘under-assessed’

Call for revamp of windfarm noise rules

Call for SNP to admit people ‘fed-up’ with wind farms