In November 2014, the government announced that the Institute of Acoustics will conduct research into all types of turbine noise. The results are expected to be announced by June 2015.
The bad news is that Government will decide at which point the annoyance officially becomes “unacceptable”. No doubt Ed Davey would set the limit somewhat above that of a chain saw.
A spokesman for the DECC said: “This review should empower local people to stop disruptive wind farms and make sure local authorities have all the information they need before giving a planning application the green light.”
A Stormont committee has called for an urgent review of limits on noise levels from wind turbines.
Residents' concerns about the health impact or effect on house prices were often not given due regard, while community groups trying to object to planning applications found the process opaque, according to a review by lawmakers.
The wind industry believes current guidelines are adequate to regulate noise limits, but others "overwhelmingly" cited this as their most pressing area of concern as the size of farms has grown dramatically, the report said.
"After considering the evidence from its specialist adviser, the committee agreed that the use of the ETSU-97 guidelines should be reviewed on an urgent basis by the department and that more appropriate guidance put in place."
Noise disturbance emerged as one of the key issues in the environment committee inquiry. Regulations which set out acceptable levels of noise were deemed to be in need of revision so that the noise output from more modern and more powerful turbines can be appropriately regulated.
Belfast Telegraph, 12 March 2015
Living close to wind farms may lead to severe hearing damage or even deafness, according to research which warns of the possible danger posed by low frequency noise.
The physical composition of inner ear was “drastically” altered following exposure to low frequency noise, like that emitted by wind turbines, a study has found.
Published in October 2014 by the Royal Society in their new journal Open Science, the research was carried out by a team of scientists from the University of Munich.
It relies on a study of 21 healthy men and women aged between 18 and 28 years. After being exposed to low frequency sound, scientists detected changes in the type of sound being emitted from the inner ear of 17 out of the 21 participants.
Research published in August 2014 provides some additional explanation for the worldwide phenomena that have come to be known as Wind Turbine Syndrome.
Despite this mounting evidence, planning guidance for onshore wind turbine developments produced by the Welsh Government still ignores the evidence of adverse health effects arising from the operation of wind turbines.
In April 2015, in advance of International Noise Awareness day, the EPA wrote an Open Letter to the EU parliament re-iterating the known issues of noise pollution.
The profile of noise, and its effect on those living nearby, has risen exponentially over the last few years. From a minor irritant it has emerged as a major potential contributor to a range of health problems. It’s not only the noise you hear (play the YouTube video, below) but what has come to be known as “infrasound” - air disturbance of less than 25Hz and below the reception level of the normal human.
In May 2012, The Petitions Committee of the Welsh Assembly issued recommendations to the government, following a comprehensive investigation into the views of the electorate. You can see their recommendations on page 6 of their report. These were based on evidence from around the country, evidence which is supported by a number of studies around the world.
Follow the links below to read, and hear, the evidence.