wind turbine noise


When we express our opposition to the local siting of large turbines it is not uncommon for pro-wind advocates to trot out the hackneyed accusation of 'NIMBY"!


Of course anyone who finds themselves directly affected by wind farm proposals will have done a little more research than most and will know about the invasive effects turbines can have on the health and wellbeing of those living nearby. This is not trivial and neither is it a gentile form of aesthetic 'nimbyism'. The validated evidence of harm is growing – and it is, of course, unlikely that you will hear the Scottish Government, wind farm developers, land owners or even local Environmental Health officers talking about it! (Hmmm – why?)


If you are interested or concerned you might like to look at this presentation.


Stop These Things have developed this really interesting timeline. It sets out a chronology of what the wind industry knew (and when); what the wind industry did in response to this knowledge and how the wind industry is still manouevering  to ensure that this knowledge is marginalised in the interests of minimising opposition to the proliferation of large turbines. Meanwhile it is increasingly apparent that turbines can have significant, negative effects on the health and well-being of people living next door to wind farms. Click here to see the presentation.


So when someone wants to accuse you of being a climate change skeptik, a middle class aesthete, a privileged country dweller or a NIMBY – tell them about the validated harmful effects on people who live near wind farms and who are seen as irritants to be overcome by the Government and the industry.



At the October 14, 2014 Brown County Board of Health meeting, a motion was unanimously approved declaring the Shirley Wind turbines a "Human Health Hazard".  The text of the unanimously approved motion reads:


"To declare the Industrial Wind Turbines at Shirley Wind Project in the Town of Glenmore, Brown County, WI. A Human Health Hazard for all people (residents, workers, visitors, and sensitive passersby) who are exposed to Infrasound/Low Frequency Noise and other emissions potentially harmful to human health."


Visit BBCRWE wesbite for more info.

Please send any expressions of support and, if applicable, your expereinces to:   

Hello again and Happy New Year!


A new report has been released which measured infrasound and low frequency noise at a wind farm in Shirley, America.


What is unusual about this report is that tests were carried out by 4 different acousticians – 2 who work for the wind industry and 2 who are independent.


The final report contains a body of text which all 4 acousticaims have signed and 4 seperate appendix reports from each individual.  Here is an important statement from the main body of the report agreed and signed off by all four.


The four investigating firms are of the opinion that enough evidence and hypotheses have been given herein to classify LFN and infrasound as a serious issue, possibly affecting the future of the industry. It should be addressed beyond the present practice of showing that wind turbine levels are magnitudes below the threshold of hearing at low frequencies.“ 


Click here to read more about the report



As cracks appear in the UK Government over the issue of wind farms it seems Alex Salmond is taking a different stance.


On the day dissent emerged within the Coalition government, Alex Salmond was addressing a renewable energy conference in Glasgow.  What he said should be a warning to all rural communities across Scotland:-


"When I became First Minister in 2007, I inherited a target for 50 per cent of Scotland’s electricity to be produced by renewable sources by 2020.


We now know that we can achieve much more than that, more quickly – having already exceeded our 2011 target.


In the light of that progress, I can announce that we have set a new interim target. By 2015, the equivalent of 50 per cent of Scotland’s electricity demand will be met by renewable sources."


Which in a nutshell means more wind turbine planning applications being submitted for inappropriate locationss, more division in more rural communities, more pressure put on our councils, more over-riding of local democracy, more decisions being referred to the Scottish Government for decisions, more people condemned to noise nuisance and health impacts from more turbines placed closer to homes.


To read more:-


Left swinging in the wind


Energy secretary slaps down minister who called for end to wind farm sprawl






Alex Salmond has defended onshore windfarms, saying they do not spoil the countryside and actually make Scotland more attractive Read more here











                  The Clyde wind farm photos courtesy of Olive Repton

Credit:     James Delingpole,     The Telegraph,     (19/09/12)





"….And there’s no direct evidence that they affect house prices, in fact the Royal Institute of Chartered Surveyors says they don’t…."


This is a quote – a genuine quote: not one devised by his enemies to satirise the outrageous absurdity of the wind industry's specious claims – from Maf Smith, Deputy Chief of the wind industry propaganda arm RenewableUK.


I suppose how far it qualifies as a lie depends on how you construe that weasel phrase "direct evidence.


Click here to read more





A new ‘good practice guide’ has been developed as part of a Scottish Government-led project, containing tips about how to overcome opposition to wind farm schemes. Ministers say the guidance is designed to ‘make planning applications for wind energy developments run more smoothly’. (Michael Blackley,   Scottish Daily Mail)


The new guidelines can be read here, but I quickly looked up the guidance on noise which states:-



 Reviewing continually the methodology, standards and policy for wind farm design and noise thresholds.

Applying up to date methodology, standards, policy as well as technology is key to minimising the noise impacts of the wind farms.


This so called 'Good Practice Guidance' has failed before it's even published because the specific advice for this recommendation is to follow the findings of the;-


"Report from the Working Group on Noise from Wind Turbines -UK
This Report (England) provides guidelines on the measurement on noise from wind farms and indicative noise levels to protect neighbours while not unduly restricting the development of wind farms."


These are the ETSU-R-97 guidelines produced in 1996 when turbines were just 50-60m to tip on average.  Turbines are now over double that height and the guidelines are longer overdue the review that was recommended in the document.

Residents close to the intended Barcloy Hill development were given a kick in the teeth on Monday when representatives from REG Windpower called to give them the devastating news that a scoping application has been submitted for 4 x 107m turbines nearby.


The proposal is sited on land belonging to Hartburn Farm and Realforests Group and some of the turbines appear to be located approx 500-600m from nearby houses.  Four house will have all 4 turbines within approx 1km.

There appears to be a problem with the name of the wind farm at present as the leaflets call it Sypland Wind Farm but the development will not be on Sypland land which is owned  by someone else.  Once REG decide on its proper name we'll let you know!


With plans for 5 x 115m turbines at Barcloy Hill, 4 x 107m at Hartburn, 1 x 84m Little Sypland and 6 x 130m at Mayfield there will be a string of 16 turbines across 5km of beautiful countryside in landscape character types identified in the Interim Planning Policy (IPP) as unsuitable for large typologies (over 80m).


No account is taken of the impact all this is having on people's health and the communities which are divided by these proposals.  The uncertainty of what will happen with all of these developments also means anyone in the area wanting to move faces an almost impossible task in selling their home or having to reduce the price drastically and lose money that they have worked hard for over the years.


Distressed and angry?  Damn right we are!


A sad day for D & G with news yesterday that RES's appeal to the Scottish Government against the council's original refusal of the Glenchamber application was successful.


Read more here on this story




Credit:   Jackie Grant     Dumfries Standard     (29/06/12)


Buddhist monks are selling their spiritual retreat in the forest of Ae because they can’t live near a windfarm.


Scottish Power, which has lodged plans to extend the Harestanes development with a further 19, 125-foot turbines, said it was close to finalising a buy-out deal with the Tharpaland monks.


Concerned monks submitted evidence to a Scottish parliamentary inquiry into the government’s renewable energy plans, claiming they suffered serious side effects when they were praying within five miles of a windfarm.


They say these included: pain in the head and chest, heart palpitations, dizziness, dry retching, anger, heightened emotions and crying.




An article in The Buteman quotes Conservative MEP Struan Stevenson talking about the potential health impacts from living near wind turbines.  The application discussed is for 3 turbines on the isle of Bute, but it is the first time we have seen/heard politicians start to acknowledge the possible impacts on the health of local residents.


“If constructed, the turbines will intrude on many of Bute’s tourist attractions, but the potentially hazardous impacts of the turbines on local residents’ health are most worrying. The health impact of wind farms has recently become a hot topic in the media and independent biomedical experts have shown that living close to a turbine can cause headaches, dizziness, sleep deprivation, unsteadiness, nausea, exhaustion, mood-swings and the inability to concentrate.


“The low-frequency noise emitted by a turbine travels easily and varies according to the wind. This constitutes a permanent risk to people exposed to it. There is even military weaponry that relies on low-frequency sound for crowd control purposes.


“At high intensities it creates discrepancies in the brain, producing disorientation in the body and resulting in what is called ‘simulated sickness’. The Israeli army uses this technology to cause instability, nausea and headaches. It is great for crowd control as it has no adverse effects…unless you are exposed to it for hours, as you would be if you lived beside a turbine."

Credit:    Dr Sarah Laurie     Waubra Foundation      (28/05/12)



Recent acoustic surveys in and around the homes of sick people living near large wind turbines in Australia and the US conducted by acousticians independently of the wind industry have confirmed that infrasound and low frequency noise are indeed being emitted by wind turbines, and are now being measured inside the homes of sick people, the emissions correlating with symptom occurrence and severity.


The long term effect of chronic exposure to these frequencies from wind turbines specifically has not been extensively studied, but there is relevant research on the known effects of infrasound and low frequency noise from other sources which is highly relevant, but has been largely “forgotten”.


One relevant credible literature review from 2003 relates specifically to the known effects of exposure to low frequency noise, in a report by British Acoustician Professor Geoffrey Leventhall, for the UK Department of Food and Rural Affairs (DEFRA). This review detailed symptoms and a pattern of their occurrence, which the author has subsequently publicly admitted is identical with “wind turbine syndrome”


Click here to read more

Credit:     Christopher D Hanning, (honorary consultant in sleep medicine) and Alun Evans, professor emeritus,     Article published 8th March 2012 in the BMJ



A large body of evidence now exists to suggest that wind turbines disturb sleep and impair health at distances and external noise levels that are permitted in most jurisdictions, including the United Kingdom. Sleep disturbance may be a particular problem in children, and it may have important implications for public health. When seeking to generate renewable energy through wind, governments must ensure that the public will not suffer harm from additional ambient noise. Robust independent research into the health effects of existing wind farms is long overdue, as is an independent review of existing evidence and guidance on acceptable noise levels.


Click here to read full article


Previous objections to Mayfield do NOT stand – you will need to object again to be counted.


Reasons for objection and information to help you can be found by clicking 'Projects in the Region'  then 'Mayfield'


Or simply click here



wind+screamCredit:   The Sunday Times,     (18/12/11)


Thousands of people living near wind turbines could find their lives blighted by the noise, researchers have warned.

Acoustic scientists estimate up to a fifth of Britain’s wind farms generate a low- frequency hum that can be audible for more than a mile.


With the government planning a huge expansion of wind turbines, some experts want the limits on wind turbine noise — 35 decibels during the day and 43 decibels at night, the equivalent of a buzzing fridge — to be lowered.

The impact of the pulsating sound, a phenomenon called “amplitude modulation” (AM) which is believed to be caused by the turbine blades striking patches of turbulent air, has already led to payouts from energy companies.

Earlier this year, Jane and Julian Davis took a wind farm operator to court, claiming that the noise from nearby turbines had forced them from their Lincolnshire home. They settled for an undisclosed sum.




…an academic study by Daniel Shepherd, David McBride, David Welch, Kim N. Dirks, Erin M. Hill


(Department of Psychology, School of Public Health, Auckland University of Technology, Auckland, Department of Preventive and Social Medicine, University of Otago, Dunedin, School of Population Health, The University of Auckland, Auckland, New Zealand)


This paper was published recently (September 2011) in an interdisciplinary  journal (public & evironmental health). Here's part of the abstract of what the study found:-

…residents living within 2 km of a turbine installation reporting lower overall quality of life, physical quality of life, and environmental quality of life. Those exposed to turbine noise also reported significantly lower sleep quality, and rated their environment as less restful. Our data suggest that wind farm noise can negatively impact facets of HRQOL [Health Related Quality of Life] .

You can access the full paper here and the conclusions are reproduced below:-

A thorough investigation of wind turbine noise and its effects on health is important given the prevalence of exposed individuals, a nontrivial number that is increasing with the popularity of wind energy. For example, in the Netherlands it is reported that 440,000 inhabitants (2.5% of the population) are exposed to significant levels of wind turbine noise. Additionally, policy makers are demanding more information on the possible link between wind turbines and health in order to inform setback distances. Our results suggest that utility-scale wind energy generation is not without adverse health impacts on nearby residents. Thus, nations 339 Noise & Health, September-October 2011, Volume 13 Shepherd, et al.: Health and wind turbine noise undertaking large-scale deployment of wind turbines need to consider the impact of noise on the HRQOL of exposed individuals. Along with others, we conclude that nighttime wind turbine noise limits should be set conservatively to minimize harm, and, on the basis of our data, suggest that setback distances need to be greater than 2 km in hilly terrain.


Communities Against Turbines Scotland has changed their web site address.

It is now   


Please note that everything is the same except we are    .com    NOT .org


Sorry for the inconvenience.  If there are any problems please contact Kim Terry on


Please consider attending  the day-long in Ayr on the 11th November (why not make a weekend of it!). The conference has been called to generate a national critical voice on Scottish wind energy policy and to facilitate solidarity between groups and communities.


Please register as soon as possible and preferably before the end of September so that  numbers can be assessed.

TW312 held a public exhibition at Castle Douglas Community Centre on Tuesday 30th August in the room opposite RES UK, the developers of the proposed Barcloy Hill Wind Farm. 


People came from across the Stewartry to meet us (and it was good to put some faces to names too) – we appreciate the efforts you made to give us your support.


Congratulations to all those involved in putting this exhibition together at the eleventh hour!


We have had many offers of help recently in various ways, from the donation of material goods, people's time, energy and skills and also financial support.  TW312 would like to take this opportunity to express our SINCERE THANKS to ALL OF YOU!

Scottish Tory MEP Struan Stevenson has lent his whole-hearted support to a campaign by Communities Against Turbines (Scotland) against the scandal of industrial wind developments in Scotland. Speaking at Ballantrae Community Centre tonight (Tuesday 9th August 2011), Mr Stevenson delivered the following speech:

 "Chambers Dictionary defines the word RAPE as meaning violation, despoiling or abuse.

I have chosen this evocative word as the title of my presentation this evening, not as an emotive gesture or a cheap gibe against the renewable energy sector, but as an accurate description of the scandal of industrial wind developments in our nation today. I intend to demonstrate this evening how industrial wind developments encompass all three of these descriptive words.

Wind turbines violate the principle of fairness by transferring vast amounts of money from the poor to the rich. They despoil our unique landscape and environment; and through noise, the flicker-effect and vibration, they abuse the health and welfare of people and animals which have to live near them."

Click here to read the complete speech

Click here for Struan Stevenson's website

Credit:     (25/07/11

The UK wind industry is scrambling to respond to a High Court ruling that affirmed the legaltiy of conditions placed on the Den Brook wind farm near Devon, limiting ampltude modulation of wind turbine noise to a level that could be very hard to comply with. After years of pooh-poohing the reports of neighbors who said that the pulsing quality of the turbine noise made it especially hard to live with, including a much-criticized study a few years back that found nearly no AM at UK wind farms, Renewable UK (formerly the British Wind Energy Association) is fast-tracking a far-reaching study of AM, which they hope to complete in just seven months.


The new study, funded by Renewable UK (a trade organization of wind industry companies), aims to develop better models for predicting AM, including assessment of the effects of high turbulence and closely spaced turbines, as well as noise predictions both nearby and at a distance. In addition, they aim to develop a listening test that could inform a possible penalty-assessment approach to dealing with AM noise when it does occur; such an approach, common in many regulations, forces the overall noise level to be lower when AM is present.


After years of claiming there is no need to assess or regulate AM, it appears that the industry has now found itself suffering the consequences of denying the problem. Instead of working to create regulations that take the issue seriously (whether or not it is common), the industry is now vulnerable to being out of compliance when AM does occur.


To read more click here

This is a preliminary draft of the following article in press:

Carl V. Phillips, “Properly Interpreting the Epidemiologic Evidence about the Health Effects of Industrial Wind Turbines on Nearby Residents,” Bulletin of Science, Technology, and Society, vol. 31, no. 4 (August 2011), pp. 303-315.

"There is overwhelming evidence that wind turbines cause serious health problems in nearby residents, usually stress-disorder type diseases, at a nontrivial rate. The bulk of the evidence takes the form of thousands of adverse event reports. There is also a small amount of systematically-gathered data. The adverse event reports provide compelling evidence of the seriousness of the problems and of causation in this case because of their volume, the ease of observing exposure and outcome incidence, and case-crossover data. Proponents of turbines have sought to deny these problems by making a collection of contradictory claims including that the evidence does not “count”, the outcomes are not “real” diseases, the outcomes are the victims’ own fault, and that acoustical models cannot explain why there are health problems so the problems must not exist."

Click here to link to the full article


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