Wind Farm battle to go to High Court




Louise Gray


The Telegraph




A couple who claim they have been unable to sleep since wind turbines were built near their home are to take their battle to the High Court in a landmark case on noise pollution.

By Louise Gray, Environment Correspondent
Published: 7:00AM BST 16 Sep 2009

Jane Davis and her husband Julian from Deeping, St Nicholas live less than 1,000 metres from a huge wind farm that was built three years ago.

The couple say the noise from the eight 330 ft (100m) turbines keeps them awake at night and has forced them to move into rented accommodation.

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In an effort to have the turbines switched off at night or even taken down altogether the couple are planning to take the developers, landowners and operators to the High Court.

The legal bid, which is being paid for by a major home insurer, is thought to be the first private nuisance case brought against a wind farm.

The case is expected to come to the High Court some time next year.

Mrs Davis, 52, said the modern turbines cause a constant low humming during the day and make the sound of a helicopter landing during high winds or when the air pressure changes due to cooling in the evening.

She said 190 campaigners around the country have complained of noise and are expected to consider legal proceedings if the test case is successful.

"It has completely devastated my life and my family's life and there needs to be a precedent to protect the rural amenity for people who live in quiet areas," she said.

Susan Ring, of Richard Buxton Solicitors, who is representing the complainant, said campaigners around the world have complained about the "aerodynamic modulation" caused by the modern wind turbines.

She said if the case is successful it could encourage the Government to look again at the noise guidelines around wind farms which have not been updated since 1997 and do not take into account the noise caused by modern wind turbines. She also said it could encourage the Government to look at introducing a minimum distance that wind farms can be built near homes.

Chris Tomlinson, of the British Wind Energy Association said the noise complaint in Deeping had been thoroughly investigated. He said wind farms are very quiet and any concerns over noise are treated extremely seriously.