United Kingdom

United Kingdom

UK government commissions turbine noise study

UK: The UK government is launching an investigation into amount of noise produced by onshore wind turbines as part of a review into how regulations are applied by councils.

No plans to change existing noise rules - UK energy minister Charles Hendry
No plans to change existing noise rules - UK energy minister Charles Hendry

Energy minister Charles Hendry has appointed wind specialist Hayes McKenzie to carry out the study into how potential wind turbine noise is assessed and rated under current guidelines. Hendry said there were no plans to change the existing rules.

The project will begin in September and is expected to be completed by the end of 2010.

Hayes McKenzie previous led a study into the impact of sound from wind turbines in 2005. It found no evidence of health effects from low frequency sound, but noted that in some isolated cases aerodynamic modulation was occurring in ways not anticipated by earlier government guidance on siting

According to the Sunday Telegraph, a Department of Energy and Climate Change document stated councils had been applying inconsistently.

The report said: "We are keen to ensure that planning authorities and developers have clarity about best practice, to provide greater certainty and consistency within the planning system."

Speaking about the plans, Hendry said: "I have commissioned an analysis of how noise impacts are considered in the determination of wind farm planning applications in England. The project will seek to establish best practice in assessing and rating wind turbine noise by investigating previous decisions."

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