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‘Put monitors in the right places’

People living in the shadow of the Fullabrook wind farm are urging the council to keep noise monitoring equipment up for long enough to capture the sound from all wind directions.

North Devon Council will begin monitoring noise from the 22 turbines when Fullabrook is fully operational on February 20. The council says it will monitor the sound from 12 locations near the site for at least a month.

The council said many of the sites had been picked because people have already complained about the noise in those areas.

The 12 locations are: Fullabrook, Halsinger, Luscott, Pippacott, Beara, Patsford, Greenhill/Middle Marwood, Metcombe, Crackaway, Burland Farm, Northleigh/Widdon and Milltown.

NDC said it couldn’t give more specific locations for fear of the equipment being damaged.

John Pearce, who lives at Pippacott, was pleased the recording equipment appeared to be placed at the correct locations.

He said he wanted NDC to make sure they captured the full picture and kept the monitors up for long enough.

He said: “That’s all the right places. Those are places people are complaining about so that all sounds fair enough.

“I just hope they are not hidden down a ditch or something.

“I had heard they were putting them in down by Knowle, and thought they may as well have been in Bideford, but if they are all in the right places I have no problem with it.”

Mr Pearce pointed out wind direction significantly affects the level of noise people can hear. He said: “My sister hadn’t noticed the noise before but when we had a south-easterly wind the other week, which is not a usual wind for this area, she could hear them.”

A council spokesman insisted the authority would make sure sound recording equipment was in place long enough to capture the full picture.

The authority believes a month is long enough to capture the noise from all directions.

It said: “The equipment will measure noise for a minimum of one month, until sufficient data has been captured. The data will be collected regularly by engineers and will of course take into consideration factors such as varying wind speed and direction.”

Information from the Met Office on wind speed and direction from Chivenor suggests NDC may have to keep the sound equipment up for longer than a month to capture a complete set of data.

The ten years’ worth of data shows the percentage and speed the wind has blown on average during each month of the year.

It shows the prevailing wind directions for the area are SW, NW and dead west, whereas in comparison a SE and NE wind hardly ever blows with any ferocity during March.