My attention has been drawn to a letter from one Jeff Rice, printed on April 18 in the Sheffield Telegraph.
As I am Jane Davis, I hope you will allow me the time honoured right to reply to this gentleman’s statements.
Noise pollution from the Wind Farm 930 metres from our home has indeed caused us to abandon our home and rent a house 5 miles away.
Not an easy decision to make when your home is on your farm.
Noise monitoring equipment had been installed at our home and found breaches of the planning condition on 50% of the time. A second more recent set of monitoring carried out by the Local Council in October 2007 found three breaches of the planning condition (in a 27 hour period) but no statutory noise nuisance was proven at the time.
Subsequently (and AFTER the BWEA had sent a statement out saying we had no noise issues) it transpired that October 2007 recorded the lowest wind speed across the whole of the UK thus “our” wind farm was only operating at 11% across the whole month of its installed capacity. (These facts would have been known by the Wind Farm Developers but they chose not to inform the Council at the time……………………..)
The Local Government Ombudsman has only yesterday decided that our situation needs proper investigation, with all facts available to all parties and this is to happen in the near future. She is however concerned that the planning condition for noise “put in place to protect local residents” and based on the industry standard ETSU-R-97, is “Vague, open to interpretation, immeasurable and thus unenforceable”.
Her judgement obviously has significant ramifications for every wind farm application (and operating wind farm) in the country, and her comments will be taken very seriously by DEFRA, BERR, CLG and the Parliamentary Ombudsman. After all there isn’t a lot of point in having a planning condition in place if you cant measure it and cant enforce it is there? We already know that the Noise Working Group at the then DTI announced last year that “Aerodynamic Modulation (AM) from wind turbines is very limited in terms of the number of people affected. BUT it also concluded that the causes of AM are not fully understood and that AM cannot be predicted using current state of the art.”.
Therefore no developer can guarantee that no noise will emanate from their turbines, and as we have already seen, no planning condition can be put in place, using the current preferred standard, that can be enforced.
Yes I do tour the country, and indeed tonight (April 19th) we are in Cumbria, and yes I do tell (and let people hear) what has happened to us. The recording we use is of the noise from the turbines heard at our house (which we are often accused by such as Mr Rice as manufacturing). But this is freely available on CD to anyone who wishes to do a Freedom of Environment Information Request to South Holland District Council.
We know we are not the only family to suffer in this way, and we certainly don’t want others too!
I can categorically state that we are only paid for our travel. Sometimes people give us a donation, but this is and has never ever been requested. We declare our expenses received against mileage and train tickets etc.
No one pays us. We do not belong to any groups. Currently our estimated financial loss to date (given that our home is deemed unmarketable by local agents) is around £250,000 and climbing.
Finally we are not funded by any mysterious “backer”. And we are prepared to swear this on oath.
I hope that this clarifies the situation for your readers and maybe they would like to question why Mr Rice has found the need to invent such scurrilous accusations about people he has never met.
Jane Davis, Spalding, Lincs
25 April 2008