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The creation of a wind farm involved the excavation and movement of soil, the laying of tracks and roads for machinery and sometimes, as at Whitelee, forest felling to create space for turbines. “All these activities can affect the pathways by which rain falling on the site drains away and makes its way into rivers and lochs and can affect the ecology of those bodies of water and drinking water.”
"Last year, we took the decision not to pursue an appeal against a planning application that was refused by Craven District Council for two new wind turbines to replace the existing four turbines at Chelker Reservoir. Further to this, we informed Craven District Council a number of months ago of our intention to remove the existing turbines."
Tribunal de Grande in Montpellier in France found that the visual and audible impacts of an operating wind facility on the owners of the Eighteenth Century Château de Flers in the northern French province of Nord-Pas-de-Calais were unreasonable and ordered the ten turbines be removed. A summary of the Tribunal's ruling is provided below. The full order can be found by clicking the link(s) on this page.
"The wind industry is dressing up their deception with so called community benefits and are telling our councils that wind energy is free and green. It is not free because our electric bills are still on the rise and it certainly is not green."
Serious concerns have been raised in a report about a huge wind farm off the north Devon coast. A county council report says the project would have negative impacts on the landscape and might not have any economic benefits for north Devon. It would be among the UK's biggest wind farms, with up to 240 turbines.
Villagers living near Maryport are struggling to get TV and radio reception - and they claim wind farms are to blame. Allerdale council has launched an investigation and pledged to work with the energy companies to resolve the issue.
"Alex Salmond is driving an aggressive green agenda like an express train across Scotland, bludgeoning anyone who gets in the way as being a Luddite and anti-green. No wind farm developer has ever had to explain the benefits of wind. Evidence tells us that wind power performance shows not only no reduction in carbon dioxide and other harmful emissions, but also the very reverse."
West Devon Borough Council sought the advice of independent experts to assess the merits of a noise condition imposed upon the Den Brook Wind Farm, but the findings did not fall in favour of the applicants, Renewable Energy Systems Ltd (RES) who propose to build the wind farm in the Den Brook valley between Bow, Spreyton and North Tawton.
Mr Paterson's report is about the impact of all renewable-energy sources on the countryside and on the rural economy. "There has been a back-and-forth with DECC but we are doing this report," a source said. "We want some hard and fast evidence about the effect of renewables on rural communities. That is well within our portfolio."
The Conservatives are warning that the Scottish Government's green energy drive has seen ministers "bully councils into accepting the advances" of developers. Critics say many wind farm companies are lodging "speculative" applications, as planning fees for turbines in Scotland are considerably cheaper than those in England.
Concerned villagers are fighting to stop a large wind turbine from being built on farmland close to their homes, claiming it will dominate the skyline and be the second highest structure in Suffolk. Mid Suffolk District Council has received an application to install a single 250kW wind turbine at Yew Tree Farm in Laxfield, near Framlingham. The structure would have a hub height of 30m, with an overall tip height of 45m.
In evidence submitted to the inquiry, landscape architects acting on behalf of the company say Mr and Mrs Shotton's Moor Edge Cottage, next to the A697, has direct views towards the proposed turbines. It also says further tree planting near the boundary of their garden, or closer to the house, would help to screen views within about eight years.
Commenting on the convoy of 40.2 metre long blades, Gwen Crew, chairperson of Denholm Community Council, added: "We should have been told about this when the application was submitted. People have to be made aware of this, as it will have quite an effect on local traffic. We are awaiting further information."
Dr Taylor uses "annoyance" in its medical term. She states, "Annoyance is recognised as a critical health effect, and is associated in some people with stress, sleep disturbance and interference with daily living." She says symptoms such as, "...headache, irritability, difficulty concentrating, fatigue, dizziness, anxiety, and sleep disturbance, are often described in relation to annoyance".
NHS Shetland’s director of public health Dr Sarah Taylor conducted a literature review of studies produced over the past 10 years on the effects of wind turbines have on people’s health. The summary of Dr. Taylor's report is provided below. The full document can be accessed by clicking on the links at the bottom of this page.
"It is generally accepted that the primary effect of low frequency noise on people is annoyance. Annoyance is recognised as a critical health effect, and is associated in some people with stress, sleep disturbance, and interference with daily living." ...Low level noise from wind turbines, in particular the "audible modulation of the aerodynamic noise", was more likely to cause "annoyance" than similar levels from other sources.
One of the grounds of refusal was the pollution threat to Doonbeg river, which contains 5,000 freshwater pearl mussels - the highest concentration in Clare. At a six-day oral hearing into the wind farm in April, the country's foremost authority on the mussel, Dr Evelyn Moorkens, said if nothing was done to secure the species' future, it would disappear.
Councils will be banned from imposing minimum distance limits that would help protect communities from the scourge of wind farms. New planning guidance says local authorities will not be able to designate ‘buffer zones' between properties and turbines.
The intervention marks a straining in relations between wind farm companies and the First Minister, who has championed the rapid increase in onshore turbines in the face of growing fury from rural communities. A Daily Telegraph investigation last month disclosed how the Scottish Government has pressurised council planners across Scotland that they have set aside too little land for turbines.
"This latest application is horrendous. If this gets approved, the whole of the Marsh and Wolds will become dotted in turbines. There will be no escape from them. Every which way residents look they will be there."