The public hearing into Angus Council’s decision to refuse permission for two wind turbines at GlaxoSmithKline’s plant in Montrose continued yesterday.
The council’s noise consultant Dick Bowdler defended his recommendation that Angus Council refuse the application to Scottish Government reporter Malcolm Mahony at the appeal hearing.
He claimed GSK had not provided enough data on backg round noise in Ferryden for the turbines to meet ETSUR-97, the guidelines the Scottish Government use in assessing turbine noise, which asks for data for speeds up to 12 metres a second and from a variety of wind directions.
He said: “There is very little data above eight metres a second.”
Mr Bowdler suggested that the turbines’ use should be capped when wind speeds reached seven metres a second, rather than the nine metres a second GSK has proposed, due to insufficient data above this point.
He said an additional “margin of safety” was required when assessing how noise travelled over water.
He concluded: “It is my opinion that the application is insufficiently robust to say whether the ETSUR-97 limits will be met.”
GSK’s advocate Louise Cockburn quizzed Mr Bowdler on how many homes are in the 300m area surrounding the turbines, which he stated would be the most affected by noise.
Mr Bowdler replied: “I don’t know. I don’t think it matters how many homes. There are a large number of homes there.”
Ms Cockburn pressed: “How many?”
Mr Bowdler answered: “A good many tens, up to 100 homes zone.”
She noted that Glaxo’s consultants WSP Acoustics had been only given two weeks to respond to Mr Bowdler’s report beforeAngus Council made its decision.
The reporter is planning to make a number of site visits before giving his verdict in late June.