Noise like ‘passing aircraft’ from wind turbines at Graveley to be investigated

Graveley Wind Farm,

Graveley Wind Farm, - Credit: Archant

Campaigners calling for tighter government controls for wind farms have learned this week that noise consultants have been called in to record sound levels from eight turbines at Graveley.

Huntingdonshire District Council confirmed yesterday (Tuesday) it will be measuring levels at the Cotton Farm Wind Farm, on a former airfield, after receiving a flood of complaints about noise from people living in surrounding villages.

The move has been prompted by evidence produced by the Cotton Farm Residents’ Association, which installed its own noise and weather monitoring equipment in January 2013, which it claims shows the level of noise from the 126-metre turbines could mean they have been built too close to homes.

The wind farm, which is now run by Greencoat UK Wind, was granted planning permission on appeal in December 2010 despite huge protests from residents and objections from two district councils and five parish councils.

Graveley resident Bev Gray, whose High Street home is 1,200-metres from the turbines, said the next step in the campaign was to lobby government. “We want to try and get government to adopt much fairer and controllable planning conditions for noise from wind farms,” he said.

“When we lost the battle to stop the wind farm in 2010, we did something no one else in the world has done and that was to install our own community noise monitor. This monitor, with its own weather station, is recording noise and weather data from the wind farm 24/7. The evidence we have collected is showing the wind farm should never have been built so close to homes. This could bring into

question the use of wind farms in the UK in their current form.”

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The noise from the turbines, which have 90-metre blades that can rotate at speeds of up to 180mph, has been described as akin to that of an aircraft or helicopter in flight and even “a pair of trainers in a tumble drier”.

Keith Holl, who contacted The Hunts Post, said people had complained to the district council of sleep deprivation “due to hour upon hour of noise akin to a passing aircraft – that doesn’t actually go away”.

HDC said in a statement: “We have engaged the services of a noise consultant to review the noise reports produced by the Cotton Farm Wind Farm operators.”

The consultants are due to report back to HDC by the end of the month.

Advocates of wind farms say the technology is essential to cutting UK carbon emissions.

In a statement, Greencoat UK Wind, said: “Since the installation of the wind farm, Greencoat Wind UK has worked with the local environmental health officers to monitor noise levels and will continue to do so, as required.”