Scottish Council Demands Copy of Noise Report for Non-Compliant Wind Farm & Its Operator Predictably Runs for Cover
One of the slickest moves wind weasels ever made was to have their team write the so-called “wind farm noise guidelines” – which deliberately exclude all reference to the real bane of wind farm neighbours – incessant turbine generated low-frequency noise and infrasound:
And the next slickest was to write the planning ‘rules’ – designed to have the operators themselves cook up the so-called “compliance data”, which they then hand over to the gullible country bumpkins that work on local Councils; untrained dimwits who simply accept whatever’s dropped on their dreary little desks, by the operator’s highly-paid, pet acoustic consultants.
Some might liken it to handing over security detail at your backyard hen-house to ‘Le Renard & Co’.
That wind power outfits might pull just one or two punches in their obvious commercial interest, might come as a shock to some. However, the same malevolent approach to the manufacture of helpful ‘evidence’ – and the deliberate concealment of the unhelpful stuff – has been adopted all around the globe.
In Australia, Spanish wind conquistadors, Acciona have been turning in fabricated noise data, ever since its Waubra wind farm kicked into gear in 2010.
The operator knows full well that it cannot, and will never, comply with the noise conditions of its planning consent; so does the local Council and the Victorian Planning Department – all of which are sitting on a damming document prepared by an independent consultant, Heggies – which they steadfastly refuse to hand over to their dozens of victims, for obvious reasons:
Here’s more of the same from the Highlands of Scotland.
Angus Council may pull plug on Ark Hill windfarm
5 September 2015
Angus planners are on the brink of instigating enforcement action against the operators of the district’s largest windfarm.
The patience of council chiefs is running out over a demand for a noise monitoring report for the eight-turbine Ark Hill windfarm, near Glamis, where the 266-foot structures have been operational since spring of 2012.
A deadline of Friday was set for operators Green Cat Renewables to give an update on the noise monitoring report previously requested by the authority last November.
Residents in the area around the Strathmore site have complained about turbine noise since the windfarm became operational and they said the company was “giving Angus Council the run around”.
Following crunch council discussions within the past week, concerned residents were told that the close of business on Friday was set as the deadline for the operators to give a firm indication of when they plan to submit the monitoring report, or face enforcement action.
The ultimate sanction available to the council is to shut down the windfarm.
One resident said: “These problems have gone on since the turbines went up and they affect our lives, our pets and livestock in the fields around Ark Hill.
“There are so many things which can make a difference to the noise from the turbines, and quite often it is when there is little or no wind.
“People in the area suffering health problems are starting to link them to the windfarm and yet all this time we are still waiting on this noise report.
“The council are not at fault here, they have asked Green Cat for the report and it has not been produced — they are being given the run around.
“No-one can say that there’s not a problem here and it needs to be sorted.”
A council spokesperson said: “Angus Council understands that the wind turbine operator has completed noise monitoring and data gathering at the site and is in the process of preparing a finalised report.
“We have requested a clear timescale for the submission of that report and hope to have clarity on the matter shortly.”
Green Cat Renewables were contacted but made no comment.
What? A non-compliant wind farm’s operator running for cover? Who ever heard of such a thing?
The fact that wind weasels and inconvenient truths are unlikely to appear on the same stage anytime soon, is – these days – pretty much common knowledge – as the following comments to the article above attest.
Green Cat has been dragging its feet for months producing the monitoring report. What have they got to hide?
If anyone has any doubts about the excessive noise visit the site and listen for yourselves.
Disgraceful behaviour from this company.
A public apology from Green Cat would be appropriate. While residents suffer – some without a good night’s sleep – they have dragged their feet in resolving the noise problem.
An appalling stare of affairs.
How stupid is this. Has Angus Council learned nothing from the Seed Crushers fiasco in Arbroath?
Asking the offender to provide information is like asking someone to jail themselves – stupid, just plain stupid.
The correct way for noise monitoring is:
1 – the council commission an independent noise monitoring report before any development takes place for which the applicant pays the council.
2 – the noise level above that, then established ambient level, is included in the planning consent as a condition and included in the Environmental Impact Assessment.
3 – the operator is required to keep a noise monitoring log at pre-determined times as part of the planning consent (something like a set date of each month).
4 – any breach is checked against that log.
5 – any continual complaints are investigated by the council, once again commissioning an independent noise monitoring report chargeable to the owners of the site.
6 – any breach of the planning conditions are then rectified by the issuing of an enforcement notice.
Angus Council is at fault here for not applying strict rules to the planning consent and relying on the owners to hang themselves. SEPA who are equally as useless operate in the same way as the council.
It is about time the Scottish government clamped down on the shoddy practices of enforcement and to lackadaisical planning conditions, without any firm pre permission conditions and agreed methods of implementation. Green Cat are at fault, Angus Council are at fault, the Scottish government are at fault. Good luck to the residents but honestly – you are not going to get anywhere now the turbines are up and running and the operator remains responsible for providing evidence.