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Wind turbine buffer zones 'could hinder communities'

By Western Morning News  |  Posted: November 10, 2012

Wind turbine buffer zones 'could hinder communities'

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Councils must not bow to pressure from campaigners to create buffer zones around towns and villages to prevent wind farms blighting people's lives, a new report claims.

The study comes as a battle rages across the region between renewable energy plant developers and locals who say turbines are being built much too close to homes.

Pressure on the Government to legislate increased in May when a Private Member's Bill proposing a minimum distance between turbines and residential premises had its first reading in the House of Lords.

But now Pro-renewable energy agency Regen South West has produced a report – Residential buffer zones for wind turbines: the evidence – which reviews the latest evidence on the noise, safety, health impacts and public opinion of wind turbines.

Cheryl Hiles, Regen's director of sustainable energy delivery, said policies that put "whole areas of land off limits" without assessing specific local circumstances are in conflict with national policy and could "result in communities losing out on the chance to host their own turbines".

She added: "As with any other development, the planning process should take a robust approach to ensuring wind turbines are appropriately sited and any impacts are minimised.

"This can be done most effectively by taking a case-by-case approach to each proposed development."

So far, no council in the South West has imposed a buffer zone and permission for schemes continue to hinge on whether an individual turbine meets the so-called Lavender test, named after a ruling from planner David Lavender at a public inquiry.

He said turbines should be refused only if they "represent an unpleasantly overwhelming and unavoidable presence" in main views from a house or garden. But only if the property becomes "widely regarded as an unattractive and unsatisfactory place to live" should a scheme be rejected.

The Campaign for the Protection of Rural England (CPRE) in North Devon, which is assisting with a High Court challenge to nine massive turbines at Batsworthy Cross, regards this test as "too extreme".

CPRE spokesman Bob Barfoot said: "The distance has got to depend on the size of the turbine and other factors such as topography.

"The bigger the turbine the further away they should be.

"But developers have run out of wild spots in the wilderness and are now hunting in the most populated areas."

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  • IvorWard  |  December 06 2012, 4:49AM

    This is the refernce that they managed to chop off my earlier post. If it goes again look up EPAW.org for the latest on noise. Be aware that there are two sides to any story and do your own research if time permits. http://tinyurl.com/bc7p4u4

  • IvorWard  |  December 06 2012, 4:28AM

    So if Rothman's produce a report that says smoking is harmless it is all lies, but if Regan Southwest, a Company that makes a profit out of putting up windmills says they are harmless fluffy little things and we should all have one, that is God's honest Gospel. These are the numbers: A single 10kw wind turbine operating at 25% Load Factor for one year will cost consumers £6,132 for producing £1,100 worth of electricity. x A single 500kw turbine will cost consumers £225,000 for producing £55,000 worth of electricity. Courtesy of Stuart Young Consultancy. So if you want to have a nice fluffy turbine next to your house and pay these people six times the value of the paltry amount of electricity it will produce, fine, but don't ask me to subsidise your scams on my electricity bill, Don't ask Cornwall's hospitals and schools and old folks homes to pay for your profits and don't expect me to believe that anyone in their right mind would want to "Host" one of these things for any other reason than greed. Keep these subsidy farmers out of Cornwall and let them take their scams with them. If you think that putting up one of these things will save the planet I suggest you write to the Germans and ask them about shutting down carbon free nuclear and replacing it with coal generation, or ask the Chinese who are building 2 coal stations a week about saving the planet. As Each day passes more and more evidence of the damaging effects of these turbines is coming to light. The industry is using the figures from "small" Turbines to hide behind while they create these massive industrial machines to blight our landscapes, destroy whole areas of special interest and AONB's. Research is now beginning to point to the deep low frequency beat of these monsters being felt up to 40 kilometers away. The Americans did research into using these low frequency generators as a weapon of war as it is known to disturb peoples brain patterns even whilst they are unaware of hearing anything http://tinyurl.com/ak489hp http://tinyurl.com/bhwrhvm http://tinyurl.com/b2zhu87

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  • sandman18  |  November 15 2012, 8:33PM

    "We still need objection letters for the proposed 5 X 125m turbines at Meddon so if you can and feel "enough is enough" write to TDC the details are on our website http://tinyurl.com/96bxqsl please please do it before the whole of this beautifull corner of Devon is sacrificed in the name of GREED."" .

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  • janner002  |  November 11 2012, 10:48AM

    Just the latest in a long line of Ponzi schemes, they all die in time, as they are as useless as the people who promote them, namely Liberal's Chris Huhne!!!! You must have wondered why!!!!!! They are making £Billions out of us mugs & don't want it to stop of course!!!!!

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  • robocop1982  |  November 11 2012, 9:36AM

    the worst noise pollution comes from car doors constantly slamming in residential areas. It sends a pressure wave right into your home. Think about how car doors slam all the time and the amount of constant noise pollution it creates. YOu think manufactures would of invented anti slam door on cars and made it a legal requirement. car doors slamming is a constant noise pollution problem. ALso the pressure they create can cause damage to the occupant inside the vehicle who get continuously exposed to this form repeated exposure as when you slam a car door shut it creates pressure inside the vehicle. I find it so bad i need to cover my ears due to the pressure.

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  • eyeopener  |  November 10 2012, 2:55PM

    Typo: "When the wind turbine bursts" should read "When the wind turbine bubble bursts".

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  • eyeopener  |  November 10 2012, 2:54PM

    The words in the first line of this report could be re-ordered as follows: "Councils must ignore pressure from campaigners to create buffer zones around towns and villages even if wind farms blight people's lives." "Cheryl Hiles, Regen's director of sustainable energy delivery, said policies that put "whole areas of land off limits" without assessing specific local circumstances are in conflict with national policy and could "result in communities losing out on the chance to host their own turbines". Is she having a laugh? The case for wind turbines is flawed and one can soon harmonise with national policy; by changing that policy. As for could "result in communities losing out on the chance to host their own turbines"; really? So if this is such an attractive option why would she need to fear that Councils might "bow to pressure from campaigners to create buffer zones around towns and villages?" When the wind turbine bursts, she might as a conservationist consider a career selling double glazing.

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  • Vindpust  |  November 10 2012, 1:23PM

    Wind industry companies and their consultants, notably Arup, repeatedly state that there should be at least a 750-800m separation between even smaller turbines (75-100m) and housing. They then ignore their own siting criteria and punt schemes as close as 400-500m from housing. NB. Wind power station operators settled a High Court case last year brought by the Davis family who had been forced to abandon their home 930m from turbines at Deeping St Nicholas, Lincs. A very large out of court settlement was made the day before expert noise evidence was due to be heard which detailed the level of low frequency noise recorded in and around their farmhouse. At the moment there are no protections for the public against serious noise nuisance and consequent serious health effects form even small turbines. Time after time we see schemes consented which supposedly meet the noise guidelines as set out in ETSU-R-97 which subsequently are found to cause a noise nuisance with adverse effects on people's health. Fullabrook is just one recent example. The only solution is to put in place sensible statutory separation distances.

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  • Doitdreckley  |  November 10 2012, 11:57AM

    Or are homes being built too close to the environment that we need?

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  • 2ladybugs  |  November 10 2012, 10:00AM

    Nice to know that a Committee sat in Parliament this week and were discussing how far the planning for the building of new nuclear power plants had progressed. All is not lost. We don't want any more wind turbines, certainly not onshore. They are a blight to the countryside and they are noisy.

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