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Work to resolve Fullabrook Wind Farm concerns to begin next month

Fullabrook’s wind turbines will be restricted in certain weather to help tackle excessive noise generated by the site, it has been announced.

The measure will form part of works which will begin next month to combat the issue of noise at the 22-turbine site.

It comes after North Devon Council called for immediate action to be taken to resolve the issue after figures released last month confirmed the site was still breaching noise restrictions at seven of eight testing locations.

Following the discovery North Devon Council last month contacted wind farm operators ESBI to demand action be taken.

In a letter which was received by the council yesterday, ESBI agreed to carry out a course of action between January 6 and January 23.

Speaking at a public meeting at the Ilfracombe Centre last night, Jeremy Mann, head of environmental health and housing at North Devon Council, said he was hopeful the latest bout of work would resolve issues of noise.

He said: “The action will include work on-site and work off-site regulating the turbines in certain wind conditions.

“The operator will have to turn off some wind turbines in certain speeds and wind directions. That’s the control that underpins the mitigation strategy.

“At this time we believe ESBI have acted reasonably in their actions and by responding to us before the deadline it gives us optimism. Hopefully in a few weeks’ time the community will see an improvement.”

Following the completion of the work a new period of noise monitoring will begin in February – with a planned completion date of July. A full report will be submitted within eight weeks of the survey’s completion.

However, during the meeting a number of residents called for immediate action to be taken to tackle the issue – adding that they were concerned the issue would not be resolved.

One woman, who wish to remain anonymous, said: “Normally, if someone has an enforcement notice you are to stop development. You would have to stop work Why is that not the case here?”

Speaking directly to Jeremy Mann, Fullabrook resident Nick Williams added: “We have had to put with this for three years already. You are not the ones who have to feel the effect of it. You get to go to your home every night and have a good night’s sleep. We don’t.”

Jeremy said council officials had shared the frustrations of residents since the wind farm was approved by a planning inspector in 2007, despite North Devon Council recommending the plan for refusal.

During the meeting Joe Tucker, district councillor for Marwood, added: “We are cheesed off with what’s happened over the last three years. It has not been easy to regulate the site. I and my colleagues wish that it had never taken place.

“But if we want to blame somebody it is John Prescott because he is the bloke who took away the totally democratic decision by North Devon Council and overturned it through one single planning inspector.”