I live 930 metres from Deeping St Nicholas windfarm just south of Spalding in Lincolnshire. There are six other houses a similar distance away from the turbines but ours is the only one downwind and our nearest neighbours are a quarter to half a mile away.The windfarm became operational early last June, and within three days we started having problems with the noise and hum emanating from it.
We did not object to the windfarm in the planning stage as we did not believe there would be any issues for us and that wind power was a good way of meeting the energy gap.
We did read negative reports on the Internet but could not believe there would be issues for us as we were never specifically consulted, nor were background noise readings taken at our house.
We have had constant issues with loud noises and low frequency sounds that create a hum in the house all the time. We have kept a log throughout.
Many times last summer we were woken by loud “whooshing” noises, that stopped us sleeping for more than four hours a night.
We told our environmental health department and they came out and were astonished at the loud noise recordings they made.
Due to the Government’s preferred measure for assessing the noise from wind turbines, known as ETSU-R-97, which has the effect of averaging noise peaks out over a period, there is no recourse to justice under existing British law.
We now know that although we were initially told that fewer than 5 per cent of windfarms have this problem the reality is likely to be more than 10 per cent.
Research by the DTI and Defra which will be reported soon will give further and better information on this.
We now know that we suffer from a phenomenon known as aerodynamic or amplitude modulation. We also know that “in general, turbines are noisier now than in 1993”.
This seems to support the fact that the Government found it necessary to set a specific measurement for wind turbine noise, and that there was a Noise Working Group that operates between DTI and Defra.
This group has publicly acknowledged that aerodynamic modulation is not fully understood.
We know and accept that not every windfarm creates noise issues but those that do make life impossible for those who live near them – and by near I mean less that 2km or 1.5 miles.
As a result of our difficulties we have been forced to find an alternative place to sleep – our sleeping house, five miles away in Spalding itself – so we have effectively abandoned our home.
Our house, which would previously have been worth about £180,000 is now likely to have a value of just the land – £35-50,000 and would not be marketable as a home for people to live in any longer.
25 September 2007