Fullabrook wind farm noise monitoring update

ESBi (on behalf of the site operator ESB) has recently requested that noise monitoring equipment be withdrawn from a number of locations, as they believe that suitable and sufficient data has been recorded to enable an assessment of compliance with planning conditions. These locations are:

  • Pippacott
  • Crackaway
  • Greenhill
  • Luscott
  • Metcombe
  • Patsford
  • Beara
  • Halsinger

The council’s noise expert has reviewed the preliminary data analysis. As a result, it has been agreed that data recorded at five locations (Pippacott, Crackaway, Greenhill, Luscott and Metcombe) is sufficient to allow for proper analysis. Therefore permission has been given for noise measurement equipment to be removed. Residents at those locations are being informed and data collected for the final week will be added to that already analysed and included in the final assessment.

The council has requested that equipment remains in place at three of the locations, namely Patsford, Beara and Halsinger, as it feels that more data is required. ESBi has agreed with this and measurements will continue at these locations for a further two weeks, when the data will be further reviewed.

Noise measurement equipment has voluntarily been retained at four other locations, namely Milltown, Burland, Northleigh and Fullabrook, as it is agreed that more data for varying wind conditions is required at these locations.

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6 Responses to Fullabrook wind farm noise monitoring update

  1. The monitor at Greenhill should remain in place until the wind/noise can be measured from the North & North East direction, as the only time the wind did come from this direction in any real strength for 3 days the turbine closest to the monitor, i.e. above Marwood School, was turned off.

    • ndccommunications says:

      Hello, thanks for your comment.

      The council’s expert has been reviewing the preliminary noise data and will be examining the forthcoming noise assessment in detail. This will include information on windspeed and wind direction and he has access to the logs, which show when individual turbines have been shut down or restricted in their operation.

      In respect of those locations where the council has permitted the removal of measurement equipment, we are satisfied that the collected data is suitable and sufficient.

  2. fred says:

    Is the council having the information verified by a second party. There has been some question as to the depth of knowledge of the consultant used. Also is the data supplied from the operator verified to a level acceptable in court, is the data as to the mode the turbines are operating in verifiable in court.

    • ndccommunications says:

      The council has engaged a properly qualified and very experienced noise expert – R. Davis Associates – to oversee the measurement and assessment of noise being undertaken by Hayes McKenzie on behalf of the operator.

      The council has checks in place to verify the data being recorded and the councils’s expert will have access to all supporting data as may be necessary to ensure that the assessment is robust, including operating data.

  3. Mike Hulme says:

    I refer to your response in an earlier thread of March 22, 2012 at 4:04 pm where it was stated amongst other things:

    1) The Fullabrook planning conditions do not provide any mechanism for planning enforcement action if the wind turbine noise is amplitude-modulated.

    2) We (NDDC) haven’t made a decision yet on the criteria for judging the existence (or otherwise) of excessive Amplitude Modulation, or whether such an assessment will be necessary. This decision will be informed by the observations of council officers and with input from residents, who are recording their own observations through noise diaries.

    3) In addition, audio recordings are being made……. They can also be used, in conjunction with the noise diaries, to identify the occurrences of significant AM.

    4)…..If the Council concludes that turbine noise at any dwelling constitutes a statutory nuisance, this judgement will necessarily be made (in the immediate future) on the basis of subjective judgement. However,

    5) …..there is an expectation that the results of the RenewableUK research programme, currently in progress, will lead to the development of an objective measure of the acceptability of amplitude-modulated wind turbine noise. Such objective measures would then be applied by the Council if appropriate to support any potential statutory nuisance proceedings and/or to provide a basis for discussions with the site operator about means of mitigation.

    Four months, i.e. more than 120 days and nights, have now elapsed since the above comments were posted during which time neighbours to the turbines have presumably been left with little option other than to endure continued noise impacts of various degrees. My understanding, from information provided by the Council’s chief technical officer, is that there have been at least 32 complaints of unreasonable noise emanating from the turbines; some of which appear to identify the impacts as excessive amplitude modulation (EAM). I am further informed that publication of the RenewableUK research programme and therefore the “objective” measures promised for the determination of EAM has been yet further delayed until late Autumn at the earliest.

    In light of the above facts, does the Council consider it as being reasonable that neighbours of the Fullabrook turbines continue to suffer the unreasonable noise intrusion that appears to be the case?

    What are the prospects for decisions and decisive action to be taken in respect of the circumstances, and when is this scheduled to happen?

    Futures for a great many existing and potential wind farm neighbours throughout the UK are likely to be significantly influenced by outcomes flowing from the example and experiences of the Fullabrook development. I hope you agree that It is both unreasonable and unacceptable to leave people devoid of the facts that weigh heavily for their futures. Please therefore provide clear, comprehensive and detailed updates in relation to all of the matters referred to above – thank you.

    • ndccommunications says:

      Hello Mr Hulme,

      The report is in the final stages of preparation and is expected imminently. Once we have received this and it has been examined by our noise expert, we hope to have an update for local residents.

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