Councillors voted to defer a decision on allowing a windfarm to extend the blades on its giant turbines after hearing of the plight of an East Yorkshire resident who “wants to go to sleep like everyone else”.
Shawn Mars says he is kept awake when the blades from turbines on the nearby Withernwick farm beat against the wind in severe weather.
The windfarm – and a later extension – both went up after being allowed on appeal, having been refused planning permission by local councillors.
EnergieKontor UK now wants to extend the blades on nine of the turbines to increase their energy output. Mr Mars didn’t appear in person, but a statement read out by a friend, said: “I’ve been complaining since they were put up nearly 15 years ago. I want to go to sleep like everyone else.”
The statement recalled how in Hurricane Oscar, he couldn’t sleep for five days until the wind dropped.
Afterwards his partner got a decibel meter to investigate the noise affecting him in his bedroom and found peaks far in excess of average figures.
The statement went on: “A sound monitor was put up by EnergieKontor in nice weather, with no wind and the sound engineer said ‘what a waste of money, it wouldn’t record anything’, which is didn’t. He said why on earth don’t they put triple glazing in to your home to sort the problem out.”
Monitoring had cost £120,000, it added, because they had to keep turning the turbines off – when triple glazing would have been far cheaper.
Ward councillor Barbara Jefferson pointed out that Mr Mars had lived at his address long before the windfarm arrived.
She said Mr Mars had double glazed some of his bungalow, asking: “Is he not entitled to a quality of life?”
Coun John Whittle said he remembered refusing the original application, adding that a planning inspector was unlikely to take too much notice of “one man in his bungalow being afflicted by noise.” But in an impassioned plea he urged colleagues to support deferral for further discussions with EnergieKontor to try and remedy the situation.
Coun Charlie Dewhirst said it was “deeply disappointing” that the developers hadn’t been more forthcoming. “It isn’t a huge investment, I suspect, into helping that individual, compared to the cost of putting these wind turbines up, which as we know are absolutely vast and the returns are extremely profitable. I do think perhaps therefore we should send a message.”
The application was deferred for officers to speak to developers about potentially mitigating impacts on residents.
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