May 3, 2012

School turbines still putting the wind up locals

by Andrea O'Neill, East Kilbride News, 2 May 2012

A deflated St Leonards gran says she has been suffering for more than two years with problems brought on by wind turbines outside her home.

Helen Morton, 65, told the News she is at her wit’s end with the windmills at Blacklaw Primary School which she says have badly affected her home life since they were erected in 2009.

The retired civil servant, who is a gran-of-two, said the two 17.8 metre-high turbines, which face directly onto her home at Glen Moriston, are a health hazard, but she and numerous neighbours in Glen Cannich and Glen Arroch feel they have nowhere to turn.

Problems highlighted were “unbearable” noise pollution from the propellers and intensive light flickering at sunset.

Helen said: “I can’t open my windows at night because the noise is like a helicopter and I can’t sit in my living room for more than an hour every night the sun is setting because the effect from the propellers is like a strobe light.

“I’ve complained to the council but I think they’re fed up listening. I’ve lived here for 35 years and never had any problems until these turbines were put up.

“At first it was the constant noise that bothered my family but the flickering is much worse. Even when my blinds are shut the constant flashing light gives me a headache, so I have to sit in my kitchen. It’s a real nuisance and inconvenience.”

Helen added: “A couple came round the doors with a petition to stop them being built but the council went ahead, despite the objections.

“Everyone moans but the council say they’ve only had two or three complaints and the school said the turbines can’t be switched off at night. I don’t know what the answer is.”

Helen raised the problem with St Leonards Community Council last week and they offered their support in finding a solution.

However, area councillor Jim Wardhaugh said there was nothing that could be done. He said the ‘eco-friendly’ windmills are here to stay because they provide enough energy to power the primary school while also turning in a profit.

The wind turbines were part of a project by the St Leonards school’s eco-team in an effort to boost their green credentials.

The plans sparked an angry reaction from campaigners who accused the local authority of allowing children to dictate council policy.

Local objectors launched a petition in protest, but the opposition didn’t prove strong enough to deter South Lanarkshire Council from giving the environmental initiative the green light.

A spokeswoman for South Lanarkshire Council said: “The council has received one enquiry relating to shadow flicker from wind turbines at Blacklaw Primary School and is currently looking into the issue.”

URL to article: