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Protests over Polegate wind farm gather pace 

Credit:  Eastbourne Herald, www.eastbourneherald.co.uk 13 December 2011 ~~

The much-opposed Polegate wind farm plan which has received more than 500 representations will now be heard in January.

The five-turbine wind farm is proposed for land north of the A27, either side of Shepham Lane.

The plans have been put forward to Wealden District Council by Galliford Try Renewables (GTR) and each turbine will stand at 415 feet tall which is almost as tall as the London Eye.

The matter was due to be decided at Wealden District Council’s planning meeting on December 8 but has now been moved to January’s meeting.

A campaign group has formed against the scheme and concerns about a range of issues have been raised among residents.

Noise, vibrations and flicker causes for concern and some residents have suggested the turbines will cause serious health problems.

Ruth Kenward, who lives around 1.5km from the proposed site, suffered a rare brain haemorrhage and now lives with tinnitus and effects from a change of pressure in the weather.

She says the wind farm will cause vibro acoustic disease and force her to move from the home that she and her husband also use to run their music recording business Starshine.

Mrs Kenward also thinks the vibrations from the wind farm would be detrimental to their business and would force them to move their studio, which they could not afford.

Mrs Kenward said, “We have lived here for 20 years and it seems so undemocratic that we could lose our livelihood and our home and have my health put at risk because of a wrong site of these turbines.

“If I was the only objector I would say maybe this was for the greater good but this is not for the greater good and the reasons have been listed by the other objector, of which there are hundreds.”

The size of the turbines has been raised as one of the biggest concerns. Artist’s impressions released by GTR show the five structures will tower over the surrounding land and be visible from miles around.

The Polegate turbines, if approved by the council, will be 99 feet higher than Big Ben, 246 feet higher than Nelson’s Column, 355 feet bigger than Stone Cross Wind Mill and 389 feet higher than the average-sized house which measure around 26 feet high.

Wealden District Council has confirmed the council has received more than 500 representations but was unable to say how many of those were objections.

Tom Porter, project developer for GTR, said, “GTR would like to reassure residents that there are no direct health effects from noise or vibration at the level generated by wind turbines.

“In response to concerns that wind turbines emit infrasound and cause associated health problems, Dr Geoff Leventhall, author of the Defra Report on Low Frequency Noise and its Effects, said, “I can state quite categorically that there is no significant infrasound from current designs of wind turbines. To say that there is an infrasound problem is one of the hares which objectors to wind farms like to run.

“Assessments measuring wind turbine noise – and accepted by experienced noise professionals – have repeatedly shown that the levels of infrasonic noise and vibration radiated from modern wind turbines are at a very low level; so low that they lie below the threshold of perception, even for those people who are particularly sensitive to such noise, and even on an actual wind turbine site.

“Given that levels of vibration from wind turbines are almost impossible to detect – only the most sensitive and sophisticated equipment can reveal their presence – there would be no impact to people’s homes or businesses from vibrations.GTR hopes the conclusions of qualified noise experts help to allay Mrs Kenward’s concerns.”

Source:  Eastbourne Herald, www.eastbourneherald.co.uk 13 December 2011

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

The copyright of this article resides with the author or publisher indicated. As part of its noncommercial educational effort to present the environmental, social, scientific, and economic issues of large-scale wind power development to a global audience seeking such information, National Wind Watch endeavors to observe “fair use” as provided for in section 107 of U.S. Copyright Law and similar “fair dealing” provisions of the copyright laws of other nations. Send requests to excerpt, general inquiries, and comments via e-mail.

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