I am not in the least surprised at the findings of Salford University concerning noise problems for residents close to wind farms (WMN, August 4). From the outset, any survey paid for by the Government and the Wind Industry is only going to have one result, total denial.
The Noise Working Group of the DTI was only set up following many complaints across the UK, and does not have anyone from totally independent health organisations; and looking even closer, they are all wind personnel and acousticians paid by the industry or government, which is obviously one of the same. To give Salford the “paid” job of further studies is all part of their already decided results.
When it comes to Environmental Health Officers at councils having to give an opinion and make decisive statements, they are led by the highly dubious reports from the DTI and Health and Safety Executive as, in all honesty, they do not understand the technology they are dealing with.
The HSE were at a Chartered Institute of Waste Management Exhibition in Paignton, June 2006. I questioned the three representatives in situ as to whether they could give me any paperwork re health and safety regulations for wind farms.
They all looked in “horror” at each other, and in a jovial manner said “We do not have such rules and regulations, and we dare not get involved, as it is Government policy, and it’s more than our jobs are worth”.
The noise problems are nothing new, for they go back to the very first wind farms in Cornwall from the early 90s. The WMN article quotes Peter Townsend of St Clether, and he has had to bear the brunt of criticism from the wind industry from the commencement of the Cold Northcott development.
The residents opposite Bears Down were subjects of abuse from Camel Valley FOE organisers who stated “They want to hear the turbines so that they have something to complain about.” They are all “tarred with the same brush”. The WMN printed many letters from residents near Four Burrows, and a farmhouse owner had to leave her property, by selling it to the owner of Carland Cross wind farm, and sign a solicitor’s letter to say that she would not go to the press.
It was refreshing to see in the WMN that the managing director of Cornwall Light and Power stated a few months ago: “Wind turbines in Cornwall are noisy”, and used this argument that the modern designed turbines are not.
Anybody with any sense knows that the wind passing through the blades is the cause of the noise, but the earlier designs also had noisy gearboxes, which squeaked like chickens being squashed.
The strange thing is that when these wind farms were applied for, the public were told “they would not be any trouble at all”. Total poppycock, and Salford University has just jumped on the same old bandwagon.
Why are residents having to leave their homes in Lincolnshire, the USA, Canada, and other places because of noise problems? It takes an awful lot of money and courage to give up your home without reason!
Vibro Acoustic Disease may well have long-term effects for those living close to wind farms, and whilst France and Germany have minimum distances of 1.5km and 2km from homes, all we can do in the UK is go on “green” flagwaving at the expense of people’s health.
Alan J Nunn
REF UK SW St Austell
14 August 2007
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