Wind farm now compliant with planning conditions – four years after going live.
Noise levels at the Fullabrook Wind Farm are now understood to be ‘acceptable’ – four years after the wind farm became operational.
North Devon Council said it had spent an estimated £60,000 carrying out monitoring work at the 22-turbine site at near West Down since 2012.
Around £30,000 was spent on advice from third party noise experts, while the same was spent on officer time by the authority.
The council’s executive member for environment, Cllr Rodney Cann, said it had been a ‘mammoth task’ to ensure the wind farm complied with the planning conditions.
“Monitoring work started on the day the wind farm went operational and it has been a long and frustrating journey for residents and the district council,” he said.
“We have had to put a lot of time and resources into it but it is technically now complying with the planning conditions.”
A study in 2014 found that noise levels at the Fullabrook exceeded acceptable levels at seven of the eight sites tested.
Similar tests in 2012 found that four of 12 locations failed to hit the required standard.
A plan of action was agreed with win farm operator ESB International.
“It turned out to be a mammoth task but don’t forget that this was one of the biggest wind farms in England at the time,” added Mr Cann.
“It was very specialised work and we had to get in consultants. But we are now delighted that Fullabrook is now compliant with the planning conditions set out by the authority.
“Personally I was one of those who opposed the wind farm but it was approved by a Government planning inspector and we have been left with the bill.
“No one imagined that we’d ever end up with a bill like this. It’s very much a lose-lose situation and very unfair on local tax payers who have also had to put up with the visual intrusion.
“The irony is that it’s so easy for a Government planning inspector to grant permission for a wind farm but the knock-on effect is that it’s the district council that ends up having to ensure that its compliant.”
A public meeting is being held at Marwood Community Hall on Monday (February 8).