Wind Turbine Campaign Boosted by Expert Report

By stoplenchwickwindfarm | November 26, 2009

A campaign by local MP Peter Luff to keep wind turbines at a reasonable distance from houses has been given a boost today.

Environmental Protection UK has called on the government urgently to update its advice on how local authorities gauge the effect of noise from wind turbines.

Peter Luff has long been calling for a toughening up of the current guidelines governing how close wind turbines can be built to people’s homes.  In the last session of parliament he introduced legislation on the issue.

Peter said,

“As my Ten Minute Rule Bill – the Wind Turbines (Proximity of Habitation) Bill -demonstrated there is a problem because the current regulations just don’t deal with the huge wind turbines now being proposed.

“My concerns, prompted by the proposed wind farm between Church Lench and Bishampton, were primarily about visual issues. Having these monsters virtually in your back garden just isn’t acceptable.

“But now we have new expert evidence that noise is indeed a big issue too, just as local campaigners have been saying. As it stands, the system just isn’t adequately protecting residents.”   

“I am writing to the planning minister urging him to adopt my bill as government policy and I hope to raise it in the Commons today.  Environmental Protection UK has reinforced what we all know as common sense: these huge new wind turbines, up to 125m tall, are too big to be as close to people’s homes as the existing policy allows.”

 

Wind turbine noise rules ‘dated’

The government urgently needs to update its guidance on how local authorities should assess the impact of noise from wind turbines.

Environmental Protection UK say turbines are now so large, the noise generated by the turning blades can affect those living nearby.

The pressure group believes that changes in technology are not being reflected in the current guidelines.

The government says it is continuing research into the impact of noise.

Radical overhaul

Experts working for the group say the government guidelines on acceptable noise levels for wind turbines were due for revision 11 years ago and there has been little sign that changes in wind turbine technology is reflected in these rules.

They add that this guidance was designed for structures of about 90ft (27m) in height, but some applications for wind farms include turbines that are at least three times higher.

The group says that current guidance assumes that background noise at ground level, such as the rustling of leaves, would help mask the noise of the blades turning.

Turbines are becoming so big, the group says, that any masking effect on the ground could be cancelled out.

Environmental Protection UK argue the rules need a radical overhaul, otherwise applications for new wind farms are in danger of being rejected.

See original article here:
http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/uk/8379970.stm

Footnote:
Environmental Protection UK is the environmental protection charity supported by pollution control professionals. We have been working for a cleaner, quieter, healthier world since 1898.

Environmental Protection UK campaigns to minimise noise pollution – as well as reducing air pollution and emissions of greenhouse gases.

It is supported by the UK government, Environment Agency and Scottish Environment Protection Agency

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