A councillor says approval for plans to increase the size of turbine blades at an East Riding wind farm could encourage other operators to follow suit.
German company Energiekontor UK Limited secured permission to extend blade lengths at its nine-turbine site at Withernwick near Aldbrough this week.
The company says the longer 43.5 metres blades will increase energy generation at the site by around seven per cent.
The plans were approved by East Riding Council’s planning committee despite objections from nearby residents who complained about existing noise and flicker issues. One said the noise was akin to a “vacuum hoover” and that the turbines normally sounded like a “humming fridge” that could be heard through double glazing.
Residents were backed by Councillor John Whittle, who ended up voting against the application.
He said approval could trigger other applications from other firms operating onshore wind farms across the East Riding.
“I do not think this is in the best interests of the residents,” he said.
“It’s a rural area where the residents are quite isolated and they are having this unwarranted noise inflicted on them making their lives a misery.”
Cllr Whittle added: “I am afraid I do not see the logic of this because if they are increasing the efficiency of the turbines by applying added force to them with larger blades then it’s going to make the motors work harder and to do that you get more noise.”
Speaking at the committee, Energiekontor project manager Michael Briggs said his company continued to work closely with the council’s environmental health team and nearby residents to address any noise issues.
“We take complaints seriously and we will get to the bottom of what is causing them. We have got the tools in our locker but extending the length of the blades will not increase any noise.”
Four additional turbines earmarked for the site are currently under construction. They are expected to be installed next year.
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