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The ongoing controversy over two wind turbines in a north Suffolk village has taken an international twist after an Australian GP voiced her fears the structures may cause health problems.
Dr Sarah Laurie of the anti-turbine Waubra Foundation, has advised the people of Kessingland, near Lowestoft to keep a health diary if they are concerned about the possible affects of the two 125m high turbines, which started operating in the summer.
She has become involved in the long-running row over the turbines after she was contacted by Kessingland resident Tim Nathan, 63, who says the power generating equipment is affecting the quality of his life because of the noise they generate.
Mr Nathan, a retired local government officer, lives within 600m of one of the turbines and he says he can hear its blades “chopping through the air” as he lays in his bed – leaving him agitated and suffering from sleep deprivation.
In response to Mr Nathan’s email Dr Laurie told him: “Unfortunately your situation is all too common around the world where wind turbines have been placed too closely to homes.
“Is your local General Practitioner aware of your problems and interested? It is most important that they (GPs) are told what is going on and I recommend to everyone that they start keeping a very simple personal health journal.”
Dr Laurie, a rural GP in South Australia, joined the Waubra Foundation as its medical director after she carried out research on the health impacts of turbines as she was she was concerned one would be built by her home.
The Waubra Foundation claims that people living, visiting or working within 10km of an operating turbine will suffer serious medical conditions, including chronic sleep deprivation, hypertension, hearth attacks and severe depression.
Describing the impact of the turbines Mr Nathan said: “I can hear the blades chopping through the air when I am in bed or when I am in the kitchen washing up.
“It is noisy enough to affect the quality of my life. It has to be stopped and the turbines shut down.”
In October Waveney MP Peter Aldous said several people in the Kessingland area had contacted him to complain about a “whoosing noise” from the towering structures at night.
The turbines, which stand on the Africa Alive wildlife park and farmland alongside the A12 by Kessingland and Gisleham, are owned and operated by Triodos Renewables which has recently carried out a noise survey in Kessingland by placing sensors in people’s gardens.
A letter from Triodos to Mr Nathan says the survey found the turbines were in compliance with planning conditions but it could work with the turbine’s manufacturer to see if noise can be reduced.
The company also says it wants to work closely with local people to address their concerns.
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