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Noise would breach guidelines: claim  

Credit:  The Courier, www.thecourier.co.uk 6 October 2011 ~~

Campaigners who are battling proposals for a wind farm in Fife claim the noise generated by the turbines would breach World Health Organisation (WHO) guidelines.

Members of the Clatto Landscape Protection Group insist an expert acoustician has advised them that locals would face “a major loss of amenity” if the Devon Wood wind farm gets the green light.

They warn that noise from the turbines could cause sleep disturbance and have adverse health impacts.

However, developer West Coast Energy last night angrily refuted the claims and accused the campaigners of spreading misinformation.

In a letter to Fife Council planing chiefs the firm insists that noise emissions would not exceed 62.9 decibels. However, campaigners believe that is far too high.

“This is well above the upper limit of 40 decibels set for night-time noise by the World Health Organisation,” said Greg Brown of Clatto Landscape Protection Group.

“Above that level the WHO is concerned that sleep disturbance and ill health would arise for some people, with children, older people and the chronically sick most at risk.”

Mr Brown also claimed noise levels could in fact end up being even higher than those predicted – something West Coast Energy denies.

“Wind turbine noise is inherently difficult to predict,” Mr Brown said. “Our acoustician has checked the background noise levels claimed by the developer and found them to be unreliable.”

The group has now written to the council imploring it to reject an application which would, according to their interpretation of the data, breach WHO guidelines.

When contacted by The Courier, West Coast Energy defended its plans and a spokeswoman said the firm’s assessment of noise relied on approved planing policies.

“West Coast Energy commissioned respected noise consultants Hayes McKenzie to help design the wind farm so that it conformed with guidance (relating to permitted noise levels),” she said.

Jonathan Cawley (pictured) is West Coast Energy’s project manager for the Devon Wood wind farm.

“The suggestion that West Coast Energy are proposing wind farm noise up to 23 decibels above this level (the WHO limit of 40) is completely false,” he said.

“The Clatto Landscape Protection Group raised this same issue back in March 2011, to which West Coast Energy responded in a similar fashion, and we are very disappointed that this group are still propagating such misinformation about the wind farm.”

Source:  The Courier, www.thecourier.co.uk 6 October 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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