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Wind farm noise ‘exceeds’ acceptable levels

15:44 25 September 2012

Preliminary findings show that some turbines at Fullabrook do not meet agreed planning conditions.

Preliminary findings show that some turbines at Fullabrook do not meet agreed planning conditions.

Archant

Fullabrook study shows some turbines do not meet agreed planning conditions.

NOISE levels at the Fullabrook wind farm are exceeding acceptable levels, according to a study.

Although the full results from a measurement exercise are not expected until Friday, preliminary findings indicate that noise levels from some turbines are slightly above the limits set within the planning consent, in certain wind conditions.

North Devon Council has been informed by the wind farm developer ESB that the majority of noise measurements carried out at 12 locations around the site are within the levels set out by the planning conditions.

However, four locations recorded noise levels above the limit by a small margin.

The noise experts are now considering whether there are significant issues with tonal noise and the final report will consider this issue as well.

The operators at Fullabrook have also informed the council that they are in discussions with the manufacturer of the turbines, so that any tonal noise from the turbines can be addressed.

North Devon Council leader, Councillor Brian Greenslade, said: “We are very conscious that local people are eager to find out the results of the noise monitoring around the wind farm.

“Therefore, we are pleased the noise experts have now passed this preliminary information on to us.

“We are satisfied the monitoring has been done thoroughly and hope the findings will reassure some people, while identifying further work that the developer needs to do to bring all of the locations within the permitted noise levels and to deal with any issues associated with tonal noise.”

In an update to the council, ESB said: “Where measured noise levels have been shown to be above the noise limits, additional mitigation will be applied to the turbines to ensure that the wind farm is operating below the noise limits, set out in the planning conditions.

“It is likely that the updated mitigation will be implemented within the next two weeks.”

The council said that once any actions have been carried out, further noise measurements would then take place at the affected sites to ensure the turbines meet the agreed planning conditions.

It said that the report would be scrutinised by the council’s own noise expert and that council officers would be looking to pass on the findings of the report to local people, both by letter and by visiting those most affected.

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