Monday December 1st 2014
According to The Telegraph Online, ‘Noisy wind farms that disturb local communities could be banned, after ministers launched an unprecedented review into the annoyance they cause.’
The Department of Energy and Climate Change (DECC) has commissioned an independent investigation with the intention to assess the levels of sound that wind farms produce, and the extent of disturbance caused as a result.
Experts from the Institute of Acoustics will conduct the research in 2015 and ministers across the Government will use the data to decide at which point the annoyance officially becomes “unacceptable”.
The DECC review may lead to tighter planning guidance for new wind farms and could potentially force existing wind farm operators to restrict the operation of their turbines’. Also, it is likely to open the door to claims for compensation by residents who are subjected to noise above the official nuisance threshold.
Many residents who live near wind farms complain of noise disturbance and previous studies have linked wind turbine noise to poor sleep and mental health.
A spokesman for the DECC said: “This review should empower local people to stop disruptive wind farms and make sure local authorities have all the information they need before giving a planning application the green light.”
The review is expected to be completed by June. While the Institute of Acoustics will independently draw up the index of noise annoyance, the decision over what will be deemed an acceptable threshold will be a political decision for the next Government.