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Independent Noise Working Group Research and Recommendations

Initial Findings from the INWG Research

INWG Recommendations to National Government

  1. Replace ETSU. Replace the use of ETSU, as recommended by the Northern Ireland Assembly report January 2015, with a procedure based on the principles of BS4142: 2014. This will bring wind turbine noise assessment into line with other industrial noise controls. New guidance of this type should be formulated in a Code of Practice that sets out a BS4142: 2014 type methodology that reflects noise character and relates impact to the actual background noise level and not an artificial average.
  2. Introduce an Effective AM Planning Condition. Based on the experience at Cotton Farm wind farm in Cambridgeshire, where there has been long term professional and independent noise monitoring, we recommend an effective AM planning condition should be part of every wind turbine planning approval unless there is clear evidence it is not needed. For assessing and controlling wind turbine noise AM, it is recommended that:
    1. Where wind turbine noise level and character require simultaneous assessment then BS4142:2014 should be used. The rated wind farm noise level should not exceed +10dB above the background noise level.
    2. Where only wind turbine noise AM requires assessment then a Den Brook type planning condition should be used.
  3. Continuous Noise Monitoring. Continuous noise monitoring of wind turbines should become a standard planning condition for all wind turbine planning approvals as recommended in the Northern Ireland Assembly report, January 2015. This should be funded by the wind turbine operator but controlled by the Local planning Authority (LPA) with the noise data made openly available to ensure transparency. The Cotton Farm community noise monitor describes an example of how this can be achieved. See: http://www.masenv.co.uk/~remote_data/ [1]
  4. Further Research into the Impact of Low Frequency Noise. There is a need to commission independent research to measure and determine the impact of low-frequency noise on those residents living in close proximity to individual turbines and wind farms as recommended in the Northern Ireland Assembly report, January 2015.
  5. Issues of Ethics, Conflict of Interest & Independence. The government should deal decisively with the ethical issues surrounding the Institute of Acoustics (IoA) wind turbine noise working groups. Government departments should disassociate themselves from the IoA until conflict of interest and ethics issues are resolved and full transparency is restored.

By courtesy of Chris Heaton-Harris, MP for Daventry [2]

Download reports and publications:

The Fundamentals of Amplitude Modulation (AM) of Wind Turbine Noise [3]
Review of Reference Literature [4]
AM Evidence Review [5]
Study of Noise and AM Complaints Received by Local Planning Authorities in England [6]
Excessive AM, Wind Turbine Noise, Sleep and Health [7]
Den Brook Planning Conditions [8]
Draft AM Planning Condition, part 1 [9]
Draft AM Planning Condition, part 2 [10]
Legal Remedies [11]
Legal Issues Relating to Shell Companies [12]
Control of AM Noise Using Statutory Nuisance [13]
Informative: Wind Turbine Noise AM and Its Control [14]
Test of Institute of Acoustics AM Working Group Methodologies [not yet published]
Review of Institute of Acoustics Noise Working Groups [15]
Cotton Farm Monitor Experience [16]
Report Summary [17]
Terms of Reference [18]
Presentation to DECC Minister of State by Richard Cox [19]
Presentation to DECC Minister of State by Sarah Large [20]
Presentation to Institute of Acoustics by Richard Cox [21]