Windfarm developers have admitted proposed turbines near Balfron may be heard by some villagers.
But they say the noise levels would be “insignificant” and well within guidelines.
Npower Renewables representatives attended a meeting of Strathblane Community Council on Friday, as did campaigners against the company’s plans for nine turbines at Ballindalloch Muir.
The company’s noise expert Darran Humpheson said the noise of the turbines may be heard by certain areas during the night.
EVAG (Endrick Valley Action Group) chairman Gordon Adams said: “We have been saying for months that the windfarm is too close to the village of Balfron and people will hear the noise from these giant turbines.
“Now we have Npower’s own noise expert admitting that some residents in Balfron will hear them.”
A company spokesman said a noise assessment had been carried out. The consultant said that “under extreme circumstances” the noise of the turbines could be heard outside Balfron High School but most of the time it would be masked by traffic and general neighbourhood noise.
They said: “The windfarm noise may only be audible outside the school during the night, under very still weather conditions and with background noise levels at their lowest.”
“The noise assessment calculated windfarm noise outside 16 of the closest residential dwellings during the quiet daytime and nighttime periods for a range of wind speeds.
“Calculations were not undertaken at Balfron High School since the school buildings are more than 1950 metres from the nearest turbine and it was considered the noise impact would be insignificant at this distance, especially since the school is open during the day when noise levels are higher.
“Calculated windfarm noise levels are below the assumed background noise levels and it is a positive indication that existing sources of noise, regardless of the time of day, will mask the wind farm noise.
“On very rare occasions the windfarm noise may be audible and it is estimated these conditions would occur for less than one per cent of the time when the wind is blowing from the windfarm towards Balfron. Even then, the level of noise outside the school is well being internal guideline values recommended by the World Health Organisation for schools and residential dwellings.
“In summary, the environmental noise effects of the windfarm on the village of Balfron are insignificant and noise levels are well within the accepted guidelines.”
A planning application has been lodged with Stirling Council by Npower Renewables and the public has until February 22 to submit their comments to the proposal with council planners.
8 February 2008
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