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Noisy wind turbine owner ordered to switch off

A noisy wind turbine which drove residents to distraction has been silenced by council chiefs.

Some believed the deep howl resonating over Forest Green, Nailsworth, Woodchester and Amberley during high winds originated from the Ecotricity turbine at Lynch Knoll in Nympsfield.

But Stroud District Council officials ruled that out and tracked down the source of the noise to a small, privately-owned turbine at agricultural premises in Tinkley Lane, between Forest Green and Nympsfield.

They told its owner it was making “unacceptable levels of noise”.

It did not have planning permission but was taken down before planning officials arrived.

When winds rose earlier this month, residents to the east heard the noise resonate over the Nailsworth and Woodchester valleys.

“It made the most awful racket,” said Nailsworth resident Benjamin Birch. “Even with the wind whipping through the trees on a blustery night, you could hear this sort of pulsing howl, even inside the house.

“It kept my children awake at night. It was an annoyance to say the least.”

Complaints

Council officials responded swiftly to three complaints.

A council spokesman said: “One of our environmental health officers was able to track down the source of the noise, which turned out to be from a privately owned wind turbine.

“The officer explained to the owner that it was generating unacceptable levels of noise and advised him to turn it off. We now understand it has been taken down.”

Mike Cheshire from Ecotricity said: “Mini wind turbines aren’t that great – because of their basic design, they can be noisy and don’t make a great deal of energy, and small solar is often a better way to go at home.

“And it all goes to show what a myth it is about big windmills being noisy, we can calculate the exact sound levels from our most modern ones before they’re even built, such as those for Berkeley Vale, which will be even quieter.”

Forest Green Residents’ Association chairman Margaret Marshall said she had not had any complaints.