A noise expert has been called in to judge the wind farm bid for near Rooksbridge.
Both protester group NoPilrow and developer Broadview Energy welcome the outside authority on potential noise levels being brought in by the planning authority. But NoPilrow is not happy with the legal limits.
David Maund, group spokesman, said: “It is good that Sedgemoor District Council is taking the issue of noise seriously, but unfortunately, the legislation ETSU-97 regulating noise and wind farms is considered by many noise consultants to be not fit for purpose. I imagine residents near the Fullabrook wind farm in North Devon, were given similar reassurances by the developer.”
North Devon Council has found some of the turbines at the site to be louder than allowed.
Mr Maund said: “Since Fullabrook wind farm would have met the standard dictated by ETSU-97 during the planning phase, it is surely obvious that this legislation is no longer sufficiently rigorous for the much larger turbines now being employed.”
NoPilrow also pointed to the out-of-court settlement agreed with one couple in Deeping St Nicholas, Lincolnshire, who claimed a wind farm 1km away from their home had destroyed their lives because of intolerable noise.
Tom Cosgrove, project manager of Broadview, said: “We welcome the news that Sedgemoor has appointed an independent body to review the noise assessment.”
He said the noise control restrictions had been reviewed by the Government and deemed fit for purpose.
Mr Cosgrove said: “This has been demonstrated at Fullabrook where the wind farm has been found to be in breach of the imposed levels, and action is currently being taken to remedy this.
“If the wind farm is incapable of operating within the prescribed limits then it will be forced to cease operation until it can be demonstrated that the planning permission can be complied with.
“At Pilrow, our assessment has demonstrated that the proposed wind farm can operate comfortably within the ETSU limits at all times.”
The plan to build four wind turbines at Pilrow are now with Sedgemoor for consideration.