The country’s biggest on shore wind farm is too noisy according to the results of testing..
But North Devon Council, as the local planning authority, could not confirm whether this breach of Fullabrook Wind Farm’s planning regulations would see them force it to close.
The testing was carried out at the 22-turbine site earlier this year by ESB International, the operator of the site.
The period of testing was extended when people living near by feared the results would be affected by a spell of unusually calm weather.
North Devon Council has to ensure the company behind the wind farm, ESB International, is not breaching the planning regulations, which include the turbines not be allowed to exceed a certain level of noise.
But this week, the council revealed that the preliminary findings from the testing show four of the 12 sites tested have exceeded that accepted level. The full results will be released on Friday.
Council leader Brian Greenslade said: “We are very conscious local people are eager to find out the results of the noise monitoring around the wind farm.
“We are satisfied the monitoring has been done thoroughly and hope the findings will reassure some people, while identifying further work that the developer needs to do to bring all of the locations within the permitted noise levels and to deal with any issues associated with tonal noise.”
ESB is now in discussion with the manufacturers of the turbines to try and resolve the matter within the next two weeks.
It believes the noise problems are a result of a tonal fault with the turbines.
A spokesman said: “Where measured noise levels have been shown to be above the noise limits, additional mitigation will be applied to the turbines to ensure that the wind farm is operating below the noise limits, set out in the planning conditions.”
Once any actions have been carried out, further noise measurements will then take place at the affected sites, to ensure the turbines are meeting the agreed planning conditions.
John Pearce, who lives at Pippacott, near the wind farm said: “It’s a good bit of news, good on the council.
“I am little bit surprised, I thought it was all a lie and we would never know the truth.”
But Nick Williams, who lives at Fullabrook itself, said the site should be closed down immediately.
He said: “We knew it was too noisy and they should close it down, they have breached their planning regulations.
“Everyone laughed at me when I had to go to the doctor because the noise was affecting me so much. The fight has only just started.
“They have broken the rules, we need to stop them. If four of them are faulty then they all are.
“It is nothing to do with the turbines themselves, the noise comes from the blades.
“The only way the noise will decrease is if smaller blades are put on.”
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