Some residents have asked us why noise monitoring equipment is not being installed at or near to their home. Therefore, we would like to explain, so that others, who are also thinking the same thing, can be informed.
North Devon Council is limited in the number of locations at which noise measurement equipment is to be situated for the forthcoming noise assessment. The Secretary of State, when determining the planning application, set the maximum number at five and North Devon Council have successfully negotiated with the site operator (ESB) to increase this to 12 locations in total.
The broad locations have now been settled following a detailed assessment, which was overseen by the council’s noise expert. The assessment took into consideration things such as the proximity of properties to turbines, the range of wind directions where properties would likely experience noise, the number of properties affected at a particular location and complaints received. In addition, measurement positions have been chosen to provide thorough and robust data at locations throughout the community surrounding Fullabrook.
Residents may be concerned that the measurements are not being carried out near to their particular home. This may be because an adjacent property has been chosen or that there are other homes that are closer to the nearest turbine or turbines. However, all local residents can be assured that their concerns have been taken into account when the locations were established.
In simple terms, the data recorded at the locations that have been chosen should be suitable and sufficient to quantify noise levels at all properties. The aim of the forthcoming noise monitoring is to assess compliance or otherwise with the maximum noise levels set within the planning conditions.
Where non-compliance is found, further noise mitigation measures will be imposed. Provided that compliance is achieved at the closest properties, it is expected this will have a knock-on benefit at those properties further away. In addition, the measurement of noise from wind turbines is far more reliable at positions in close proximity.
An officer from Environmental Health and Housing is now visiting individual residents to seek the necessary permissions to install the monitoring equipment. The council understands that some residents might be disappointed that their homes have not been chosen and hope that the above goes some way to providing reassurance that their interests have been considered.