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It is an ill wind living in shadow of turbines; Locals say health is being compromised

Lives in a remote Scottish glen have been ruined by the “sensory torture” of a nearby wind farm.

And affected families say that they are paying for Scotland’s rush for green energy with their health.

Residents living in what was once dubbed the “secret valley” – previously unspoiled countryside three miles inland from Girvan – say the constant pounding of the Hadyard Hill wind farm is making it impossible to get a decent night’s sleep. In waking hours, however, bleary-eyed locals are being subjected to shadow flicker – an intermittent shadow cast over their homes when the sun is behind the rotating blades of the 53-turbine farm.

One local woman has told how her former rural idyll has been turned into a nightmare – forcing her to keep curtains consistently shut to blot out the shimmering “kaleidoscope”.

And last night, full-time foster carer Robert Baldwin – who lives in a cottage just under a mile from the site, explained his family are at their wits’ end too.

Mr Baldwin, who has a 34-year-old disabled son, says: “We all feel constantly tired. It’s like an illness because we’re just not getting proper rest.

“There no respite from it at all and we’ve been battling this since 2006”.

He added that the family cottage is also engulfed by shadow flicker when the sun is rising in the morning.

“It’s like someone is switching the lights on and off.”

Retired civil servant Kay Siddell, who lives nearby with her husband John says: “I keep my curtains closed because if you look out the whole world just turns.

“The flicker, which is worse in the winter, gets through the blinds and curtains – it’s like the start of the old Doctor Who programmes when the screen used to expand and contract.”

Mrs Siddell also believes her health has been compromised by the wind farm, run by Scottish and Southern Energy (SSE).

“We have the TV and radio on all night and all day to drown out the noise.

“I have autoimmune problems. I think there’s a link between stress and my health problems and living in the circumstances that we do is stress inducing.”

Both families now fear their misery could be compounded if two more wind farm plans are rubber stamped for the immediate area.

But the families say their current plight is being all but ignored by SSE.

Although the energy giants deployed acoustic engineers in June, the families say no information has been forthcoming about how to mitigate against the problems.

“We are taking this matter very seriously and have been in regular contact with the residents,” said Peter Donaldson, Director of Renewable Operations of SSE.

“As part of our ongoing investigation into the alleged noise issue, we recently commissioned a credible independent industry expert to carry out a full investigation into the situation and produce a report on the findings.

“We have spoken to both the residents and the local authority about the initial findings and are currently reviewing the results of the final report.

“Once we have a full understanding of any issues we will share the findings and, if required, any potential mitigation measure with residents and the local authority.”

Communities Against Turbines Scotland are holding a conference in Ayr on November 11. Visit http://www.communitiesagainstturbinesscotland.com/registration/