Wind farm

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Reference information

Turbine Noise - it doesn’t have to be loud to be a problem.

ETSU-R-97 -

The Assessment and Rating of Noise from Wind Farms

The rules were produced in 1997 by a working group which recommended that they be reviewed after a year. No review of the rules has taken place. There have been many complaints about excessive noise from turbines.

Night time limits

The rules permit 43dB of noise at night in quiet areas. This may be 4 times louder than the background noise before the wind farm is built.

Daytime noise limits

5dB above the background levels, measured by the developer, when he chooses to do so.

Background noise measurements

These are crucial because the wind farm is allowed to be 5dB noisier. Woodlane background noise was measured during harvest, the most intensive and the noisiest period in arable farming. A period during which the noise from farming activity can be annoying. Adding 5dB to this guarantees that people will be annoyed by turbine noise.

Measurement excludes the louder swish sound

The ETSU noise measurement is specified so that it excludes the swish. This can be much louder and is the source of most complaints.

It's the characteristics of the sound (not the volume) that causes problems for people. Most folk don't seem to appreciate the difference. I hope this video helps bring that out a bit.

If I could I would have recorded 4+ hours of it too! Because the DURATION of these sounds is often overlooked. Because some might think "oh, that's not too bad". But if it was in their heads all day, all night, with no end in sight, no option to turn it down or off...?

Birkin and Hillam Common Lane - 40dB

The map shows up to 40dB predicted turbine noise in Birkin and along Hillam Common Lane. This would be more than double background noise and depending on wind strength and direction could be continuous for long periods. The video explains the characteristics of turbine noise and why it can be so annoying.

Gateforth and West Haddlesey - 37dB

The map shows Gateforth and West Haddlesey with up to 37dB of noise - according to the developers calculations. The human ear is not sensitive to a 3dB difference so all three villages would be subject to much the same noise levels.

Noise limits set 10 years ago provide in-adequate protection - ETSU 97

If the regulations provided protection there wouldn’t be complaints about noise from people living close to wind farms.  Wind farms may not be very noisy but the noise they do make can be extremely annoying.

Part of the problem is that  the loudest noise is the swish or thwump produced as the blades go round - but the ETSU rules are not based on this, the loudest pulse in the turbine noise.

More information

1. See Key Issues  - The need for a full review of ETSU and how it fails to protect people from noise nuisance.

2. Please help - The  Court cases being brought private individuals as the only way left to seek remedy


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