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Wind turbines blamed for giving dog epileptic fits

Residents opposed to the two wind turbines at Blacklaw Primary have stepped up their campaign.

They have launched a petition calling for the removal of the two 17.8-metre windmills erected in the grounds of the school as part of an eco-project.

They say the turbines are causing noise and light pollution and could pose a health and safety problem for children at the primary.

One woman believes her dog is suffering severe fits because of the windmills.

Widow Irene Cardle, 65, said she and other St Leonards residents were at breaking point over the turbines’ “constant droning” and shadow flicker outside their homes.

The distraught gran-of-three is convinced the “nightmare strobe light” effect is causing her dog Shadow to live in constant fear.

Irene claims that since the turbines were erected in 2009, the 10-year-old labrador collie cross has also suffered epileptic fits, varying in frequency from monthly to daily.

The seizures, which can last up to four minutes, cause the rescue dog to drop to the ground, shake uncontrollably, and foam at the mouth. The fits can leave Shadow disorientated for up to four hours.

Irene said: “The fits are horrendous and so distressing to see and I’m terrified that my grandchildren will see Shadow like that.

“It was bad enough for my daughter to see – it left her in tears.”

Irene believes the rapid flashing effect caused by intensive sunlight flickering through the rotating blades is triggering the seizures.

Flash photography and strobe lighting are common triggers for human epilepsy sufferers.

Neighbour Sandra Carol, who is a dinner lady at Blacklaw, said 63 residents had already signed the a petition calling for the turbines to be brought down.

Sandra, 60, said: “The noise and flashing light is horrendous. The council are putting kids lives at risk by putting these blades in a school playground. How can they say they are safe?”

A South Lanarkshire spokeswoman said: “Within the curtilage of Blacklaw Primary there are two wind turbines installed as part of the development of the new school. While complaints of noise have been received we can confirm a ‘Statutory Noise Nuisance’ has not been confirmed following our investigation. Confirmation of a possible mechanical failure at the end of January 2013 resulted in the two units being shut down for maintenance checks.

“As to the issue of ‘shadow flicker’, the interruption of light caused by the rotation of the turbine blades, a study commissioned by the Department of Energy and Climate Change, and, peer reviewed by independent experts, concluded it does not pose a ‘significant health risk’.”

Members of the public who have concerns can contact the council’s environmental health service during office hours on 01698 454320.