A Fife woman claims she is being “tortured” out of her own home by the multimillion-pound windfarm industry.
Teresa Glen, 55, developed ear problems and migraines shortly after the Little Raith windfarm, near her home in Lochgelly, was switched on almost two years ago.
The grandmother developed tinnitus, which feels like “constant screaming” in her head, and last year a specialist diagnosed “substantial damage” to her inner ear and significant hearing loss.
Now, the artist says she is at her “wits’ end”.
She told The Courier: “When the turbines were turning at certain speeds on certain days, my ears popped like being in a tunnel. That then gave way to a ringing sound and I was diagnosed with tinnitus. The faster and longer the turbines go, the louder the ringing gets.
“My ENT specialist said the damage was akin to something a person who has worked in an industrial setting has experienced. But I haven’t worked in industry. The only explanation I have is the turbines.”
Ms Glen, who suffers from ME, says she can feel the constant presence of the windfarm. She struggles to sleep at night and has been forced to move from her front room into a back bedroom.
She has lived at her address for 20 years and has no desire to move but feels she may have little option. Fife Council says it is investigating a noise complaint but has had no request for a housing transfer.
She acknowledges she has underlying health conditions but believes this might make her more susceptible to the turbines.
She added: “I am not the only one feeling the impact. There are people here who have been examined for dental issues after they developed a strange pain going down their cheekbones to their jaw. I have the same and I know it’s nothing to do with teeth.
“Someone else here has epilepsy that has been under control but had a fit and fell down the stairs as a result. However, people are scared to speak out or they simply haven’t made the connection.”
Ms Glen lives less than a mile from Little Raith but the windfarm, owned by Manchester-based Kennedy Renewables, has applied for an extension that would bring it within 900 metres. Official guidance says turbines should be no closer than 2km – around 1.5 miles – to homes, and with Little Raith’s capacity set to rise up to 29MW, the distance should be at least 2.5km.
Linda Holt, of lobby group Scotland Against Spin, said more and more people are contacting them because they feel their health is being affected.
Jonny Kennedy, managing director of Kennedy Renewables, said: “We take any complaint seriously and will fully investigate any matter that is raised with us.
“Kennedy Renewables addressed this matter at our recent Community Liaison Forum in July, where we outlined that any issues should be raised with us and Fife Council at the same time so we can respond to them. Kennedy Renewables has also made the offer to meet with anyone who has any concerns.
“We have fulfilled all planning conditions in terms of Little Raith windfarm and are extremely pleased with the windfarm. We are also pleased that Little Raith windfarm is part of the ClimateXChange study, which is examining 10 windfarms across Scotland to compare operational windfarms to what was set out in the environmental impact documentation.
“As Fife’s first commercial windfarm, we have been proud of the work we have undertaken and we continue to engage with the local communities surrounding the Little Raith windfarm through our Community Liaison Forum.”
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