Wind turbines can have distressing noise effects that can degrade health and lifestyles, a resource consent hearing was told yesterday.
Tararua Aokautere Guardians called a number of witnesses to support its submission against the proposed 127 turbine Motorimu Wind Farm planned for the Tararua Ranges behind Linton and Tokomaru.
Sound energy expert David Bennett said there is “extensive evidence, both internationally and within New Zealand,” that wind turbines can have distressing noise effects which can degrade health and lifestyles, and hence property values”.
If Motorimu proceeded as planned, Kahuterawa Valley would be particularly affected, while Linton-Tokomaru area residents would also be affected, particularly in easterly winds and conditions of temperature inversion.
Dr Bennett and noise expert Richard Thorne both criticised the recognised noise Standard for wind farms, NZS6808.
Dr Bennett said the standard’s deficiencies contributed to division between developers who say they meet the standards and residents who feel noise distress.
Mr Thorne said noise research showed 10 percent of exposed people were “highly annoyed” by traffic noise at 60dBA, while the same degree of annoyance occurred at 36dBA for wind turbine noise.
By Helen Harvey
15 March 2007
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