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Wind turbine could force family out  

Credit:  Retford Times, www.thisisretford.co.uk 14 April 2011 ~~

A wind turbine taller than Big Ben has been approved for a Tuxford business site following a planning meeting.

Standing at 99.5m from base to tip, the turbine would be used to power the business premises of applicants Walker And Son Hauliers.

But the decision has sparked outrage from one family concerned about the effect it would have on its youngest member.

Christine Southern of Markham Road said she and her daughter Lucinda, 23, who suffers from hyperacusis, a condition causing ultra-sensitive hearing, would have to move house.

“It was a foregone conclusion. Why we bothered going, I don’t know,” she said of the meeting.

“They very obviously were not interested.”

Lucinda’s condition, which she has suffered from all her life, means that even sounds unnoticed by the casual listener can be unbearable.

It means that the usually silent operation of existing wind turbines – such as one at the Worksop B&Q site – become a painful string of sounds to Lucinda’s ears.

“One councillor said the turbine at Worksop doesn’t make a noise – it doesn’t to everyone else, but we can’t get that close to it,” said Mrs Southern.

The hyperacusis has effectively narrowed down the Southerns’ choice of places to call home, as they search for a place to live without any proximity to turbines, or other objects that could upset the condition.

Lucinda’s condition was discussed in written representation by her GP, while the concerns of other villagers were represented at last week’s meeting by district councillor John Ogle and Tuxford councillor Andrew Kettle1.

At the meeting, the decision faced by members was described by Councillor Mike Pugsley as “a case for carbon emissions and climate change against inconvenience and public noise”.

Councillor Brian Hopkinson, who lives less than 0.5km from the B&Q turbine, said the noise would not be of concern to those not affected by hyperacusis.

“I live in Manton and 400m from my front window is one of the tallest wind turbines in the country,” he said.

“It’s built on the B&Q site and every day I take my dogs for a walk. At 30m to 40m from the base of that wind turbine, I assure you, you cannot hear it.”

What the country should focus on instead, he urged, was the need to eliminate its reliance on oil for power.

Retford renewable energy supplier and expert John Strawson, of Strawson’s Renewables, made a representation supporting the application at the meeting.

“I am supporting this because it’s local energy,” he said. “If we are going to beat global warming, we need a more locally based energy and heat network.

“This turbine does not rely on the National Grid to provide electricity.”

In the representation, he pointed to his company’s own turbine in East Drayton as an example of what to expect.

“Since its arrival, we have not had one objection,” he said. “In fact, the reaction after the turbine went up was, ‘we didn’t know what all the fuss was about’.”

Source:  Retford Times, www.thisisretford.co.uk 14 April 2011

This article is the work of the source indicated. Any opinions expressed in it are not necessarily those of National Wind Watch.

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