“Noise complaints” have led to limits being set on Kintyre’s new Blary Hill Wind Farm near Glenbarr, while Argyll and Bute Council carries out an investigation.
Four households were affected, and some residents “seriously” so, said Anne Horn, a former councillor for Kintyre and the Islands, who retired at the May local election.
“The families, involving four homes, encountered problems with shadow flicker and the vibration,” Ms Horn said.
“Some of the residents who had health issues were affected seriously when the operation began. The families now have a consultant working on their behalf.
“While I absolutely support renewable energy, it must be ensured that the ‘scientific’ data in applications is solid.”
Tarbert and Skipness Community Council raised concerns about the incident in a consultation on a separate Kintyre wind farm, called High Constellation, on the peninsula’ east coast.
In June 2020, the Scottish Government’s Energy Consents Unit (ECU) approved a plan by High Constellation Windfarm Ltd to build 10 turbines, 149.9m high, located 4km southeast of Clachan, 10km north of Carradale, and 18km south of Tarbert.
The company, a subsidiary of renewable energy developer BayWa r.e. UK, now hopes to increase the turbines’ height to 180m, and lodged a scoping request with the ECU in March 2022, seeking comments on the proposal.
Tarbert and Skipness Community Council submitted their views and published them on their social media page. In the 10th section, community councillors stated: ‘We believe that safe distancing measurements are based on research done in the 1980s.
“Turbines are now becoming so large that this research should be updated for safe distancing for vibration and shadow flicker.
“A recent incident at a Kintyre windfarm utilising much smaller turbines, may have been the cause of harm to local residents as a result of vibration and shadow flicker. We believe that this resulted in some constraints on the operation of that windfarm.
“What assurances will the developer give local communities that High Constellation won’t create similar issues?”
Blary Hill Wind Farm is operated by the world’s largest independent renewable energy company RES, which has begun testing its 14 turbines, up to 110m high, erected last year.
A spokesperson for RES confirmed: ‘Following complaints received relating to noise at Blary Hill, we have been working closely with Argyll and Bute Council to carry out a comprehensive investigation. This includes monitoring the operation of the wind farm in a range of wind speeds and directions.
“Whilst the investigation continues, we have put in place a temporary curtailment plan which limits the operation of some turbines.”
Argyll and Bute Council added: “There is currently an ongoing enforcement investigation and it would be inappropriate to comment at this stage.”
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