Ministers to commission review of wind turbine noise disturbance levels

The Department of Energy and Climate Change (DECC) is set to commission a study of sound disturbance levels produced by wind turbines that could lead to new planning guidance.

Wind turbines: review will examine noise impact
Wind turbines: review will examine noise impact

The department said it has asked engineering body the Institute of Acoustics to conduct detailed research on problems generated by the devices, which include not only the swishing of blades but also the "thumping" phenomenon created when wind-speed changes cause the equipment to stall.

A particular focus of the research will be the effect of "amplitude modulation", DECC said. This is believed to be caused by the turbine blades striking patches of turbulent air.

The review, which is expected to be complete by summer next year, is intended to provide more detailed evidence on the nuisance caused to residents by wind farms and could shape new rules on their location and management.

A DECC spokesman said the research would allow council planning officers and elected members to better understand the impact of developments proposed for their areas.

"This review should empower local people and make sure local authorities have all the information they need before giving a planning application the green light," he said.

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