Scots Go on the Offensive: Wind Power Outfits to be Sued & Wind Farms Shut Down Using Independent Noise Data
As we pointed out in this recent post, the Scots are a tenacious bunch of lads and lassies:
Delighted with David Cameron’s win – which heralds the demise of the wind industry in the UK – Highlanders have turned their claymores on the calamity presently existing.
Thousands of bat-chomping, bird slicing, blade-chucking, pyrotechnic,sonic-torture devices have been speared across Scotland – destroying the ability of Scots to live in, use and otherwise enjoy their humble homes. Now, Scots are all set to turn the tables on their wind weasel tormentors – their weapon of choice: noise numbers.
Here’s a wee report from The Press and Journal on the Scots’ latest, and final, offensive.
Noise data new weapon in war on windfarms
The Press and Journal
22 June 2015
Protesters in the north are warning windfarm operators that some schemes could be shut down for breaching noise limits.
Highland activists are preparing to follow the lead of counterparts in England and Ireland who have collated extensive data they say proves that planning conditions have been flouted at a number of windfarms.
Campaigners in the north believe similar gauging of the industry in Scotland could open the floodgates for legal action against offending operators.
Sound estimates are usually carried out by developers as part of the groundwork for planning applications to give an indication of anticipated noise levels.
But there is currently no obligation to carry out monitoring once a scheme is built — at which stage councils merely respond to individual complaints about noise.
Residents living near a turbine development in Cambridgeshire have compiled what is thought to be the most comprehensive sound history of any UK windfarm.
Monitoring has taken place over two-and-a-half years, using industry-standard recording equipment to reveal what they claim have been regular breaches at the Cottonfarm scheme at Gravely.
Highland campaigners have seen the equipment operate and now plan to instal similar devices in the north. Bev Gray, 71, who worked in renewable energy before retiring, stopped holidaying in Scotland due to the spread of windfarms.
As an adviser to a residents’ group, he claims his local wind scheme – Cotton farm – is “one of the noisiest in the world”, based on data he gleaned by installing a £16,000 machine to measure the decibel output.
Residents there now want the equipment installed at every windfarm, at the owners’ expense, as part of planning conditions.
Mr Gray said: “Developer data is never tested because it’s always taken as being accurate.
“From a month’s worth of monitoring they take a minute’s worth of the lowest noise level to produce a figure.
“It’s part of the smoke and mirrors of an illusion that allows them to build windfarms close to homes.”
The Cotton farm scheme was taken over by a City of London investment group.
Spokesman Tom Rayner said: “Greencoat UK Wind has worked with the local environmental health officer to monitor noise levels and will continue to do so as required.”
Mr Gray said his data had been taken on board by the local authorities in south Cambridgeshire and would allow people to use “accurate information” as a basis for legal action.
“We’re gradually bringing the wind industry to account,” he said.
“At the moment they can do what the hell they like. Nobody can prove them wrong because the authorities aren’t monitoring things.”
Prominent Highland anti-windfarm campaigner Lyndsey Ward, from Beauly near Inverness, has visited Cambridge and Ireland to witness communities’ monitoring of various schemes. She said the move was prompted by plans tabled by ABO Wind for a turbine scheme at Allt Carach, south-west of Beauly.
She said: “The potential devastation on our lives from ABO Wind’s proposed 25-turbine development has forced us to research the noise issue in more depth.
“Our home would have the prevailing wind in direct line from the turbines. This is not just for us, but for others across Scotland.
“Sleep deprivation can lead to more serious illnesses. Why there’s no legislation to compel developers to constantly monitor their operations beggars belief.”
Tom Harrison, project manager with Inverness-based ABO Wind UK, said: “Allt Carach is still under investigation, therefore its planning submission is uncertain. We would always comply with any noise legislation or planning condition set by the relevant planning authority.
“Should a community have concerns over noise, after consultation with that relevant community, a decision as to whether noise monitoring equipment is required would be considered.”
On the plus side: Complaints ‘will be investigated’ and projects get ‘rigorous’ checks
Highland Council said last night it would investigate any complaints about noise levels at turbine developments.
An industry body insisted all projects were subjected to “rigorous” examination at the planning stage. A spokesman for the local authority said: “We seek to ensure that noise levels at a particular house nearby any turbine does not exceed minimum levels.
“Where there is a complaint this is investigated and, if necessary, a resolution sought to any breach of planning condition.”
Joss Blamire, of trade body Scottish Renewables, said: “All wind energy projects in Scotland go through a rigorous planning process that assesses the noise impacts of developments. Only those with acceptable impacts will be consented.”
Huntingdon District Council in Cambridgeshire plans to measure noise levels at Cottonfarm Windfarm after receiving a flood of complaints from residents in surrounding villages. The decision was prompted by evidence recorded by equipment installed by residents.
Locals argue the 413ft tall turbines were built too close to homes.
The sound of the turbines has been likened to that of an aircraft or helicopter in flight.
The Press and Journal
Before we turn to the tenacity and temerity of our Scottish brothers and sisters, we can’t help but notice the drivel pitched up by wind weasel advocate, Joss Blamire, where he blurbs about wind farm operations satisfying “rigourous planning processes”.
While it’s possible to refer to any “planning process” as “rigourous”, STT thinks that, in the general, we’re dealing in matters of degree, rather than absolutes. But when the benchmarks have been written by the applicant’s own team, the concept of “rigour” disappears, absolutely.
The wind industry has known about the debilitating impacts of incessant turbine generated low-frequency noise and infrasound for 30 years – getting its own to write noise ‘standards’ that deliberately excluded low-frequency noise and infrasound – allowing it to spear turbines within a stone’s throw of homes, and to run them around-the-clock:
And, in that time, the wind industry has spent $millions pumping up pet acoustic consultants to lie, deceive and otherwise obfuscate the obvious – incessant night-time industrial noise kills a neighbour’s ability to sleep, which is itself an adverse health effect:
Much easier to jump the hurdle, when you get to set the height of the bar.
Now to the Highlanders’ offensive.
With the rollout of more giant fans at an end, the Scots can now concentrate their forces on crushing their enemy where it stands. So much easier to destroy your adversary when the size of its force can no longer grow; its ‘supply’ lines have been cut; and it can no longer be reinforced.
In this battle, the good and righteous have always been outgunned: done in by political patsies, greased up by the beneficiaries of an endless stream of subsidies doled out by them. Now, however, the political tide has turned; the subsidies have been pulled to a halt; and the leeches have lost their subsidy-succour.
In their weakened state, wind power outfits will make easy prey for a group of dedicated, clever and rightly angry people.
When the malign and callous are called to account, their victims hold the choice between outright vengeance and mercy. The balance exercised depends on just how merciless were their antagonists when they held the whip hand.
In this case, it will only be the grace and inherent goodness of those whose lives have been wantonly destroyed that favours any kind of mercy.
Litigation is inevitable; compensation too. Injunctions will be granted and enforced – turbines will be shut down or removed.
Highlanders – like hard-pressed rural communities around the globe – have well and truly had enough.
Defence has turned to attack; outright victory is within reach. Wherever you are, no matter how dark the horizon seems, follow the Scots’ lead – keep fighting for what is rightfully yours. Never surrender.
Robert Browning pitched it right in Prospice: “For sudden the worst turns the best to the brave,”