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Update - 29th November 2014

NOISE CONDITION LAWFULLY DISCHARGED BUT REMAINS SERIOUSLY FLAWED

Neighbours surrounding the nine planned Den Brook wind turbines are both shocked and dismayed at developer RES’s overt triumphing after having arguably misled the local planning authority into undermining vitally important and necessary noise controls.

Judicial review proceedings have upheld West Devon Borough Council’s processes for agreeing a noise measurement procedure. However, the unpalatable fact remains that the Den Brook neighbourhood is now at significant risk from Excessive Amplitude Modulated (EAM) noise intrusion.

Dr Lee Moroney, principal analyst at the Renewable Energy Foundation (REF), said the council has allowed RES to undermine the perfectly sensible noise condition. "It would permit more blade noise."

“Regrettably, the monitoring scheme offered by the wind farm developer was so complex and mathematically obscure that the local authority missed the hidden implications, which are unfortunately bad for those living around the site,” she added.

“To be blunt, it is obvious that if you let wind farm developers write their own noise conditions, the turbine neighbours are going to get the rough end of the stick.”

What’s more, similar EAM noise problems to those anticipated could invade the Den Brook neighbourhood are currently badly impacting neighbours of a recently RES-built wind farm in the Northwest of England. Despite complaints for more than a year, RES has singularly failed to resolve the noise problems.

The Den Brook Judicial Review Group is currently seeking leave to appeal the judgment in a further attempt to restore the hard-won noise controls and protection lost as a result of the Council’s actions.

Den Brook Judicial Review Group


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Den Brook Judicial Review Fund
Sort code: 52-30-06
Account No. 24575658
or by cheque made out to:
Den Brook Judicial Review Fund
and send to:
Nick Jewell (treasurer)
Lynderies
Heath
Spreyton
Devon
EX17 5AN

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Update - 3rd November 2014

Neighbours surrounding nine proposed wind turbines are now at grave risk following West Devon Borough Council’s recent in-house approval of the Den Brook developer's ‘Written Scheme’ for measuring intrusive wind turbine noise.

Despite strident representations from Den Brook Judicial Review Group experts pointing to major shortcomings within developer RES's scheme, the local planning authority chose to accept what has been shown to be a seriously flawed assessment by officers within the council.

In our view the council’s reasoning behind the approval was downright obtuse. It defended its decision to approve what amounts to a defective scheme on having followed procedural requirements to the letter. This completely ignores scientific evidence that the approved scheme leaves all those living and working around the Den Brook wind farm totally bereft of effective controls for highly intrusive amplitude modulated (AM) noise.”

The Den Brook Judicial Review Group, its experts and supporters have spent the past eight or so years and many tens of thousands of pounds getting proper and effective noise controls in place only for the local planning authority to now wipe them out at the stroke of a pen. What’s more, the planning authority doesn’t appear to even begin to understand the Written Scheme it approved.

A number of applications submitted by developer RES have attempted to ‘vary’ the specific AM noise controls imposed on the wind farm since planning permission was granted in 2009.

In 2013, RES submitted a section 73 application with proposals aimed to completely overturn the Den Brook AM noise conditions. However, the proposals were closely examined by Den Brook Judicial Review Group experts and decisively shown to understate and thus significantly play down the intrusive AM noise by as much as fifty percent. RES subsequently withdrew that application.

This latest scheme from the developer, approved by West Devon Borough Council, was formulated in conjunction with consultants from the Institute of Sound and Vibration who have also worked extensively for wind industry lobbyists, RenewableUK.

Similarly, the local planning authority engaged the Institute of Sound and Vibration to advise it on technical aspects of the Written Scheme.

There is widespread unease over the council's decisions which regrettably give rise to a serious and major loss of effective protection against AM noise from the proposed Den Brook turbines. Moreover, the Den Brook Judicial Review Group felt that, despite further and potentially huge costs, there was no alternative other than to challenge the planning authority's approval of RES’s Written Scheme through the courts.

A judicial review was therefore lodged in July. Permission to proceed was subsequently granted by leading High Court Judge the Honourable Mr Justice Singh. It is scheduled to be tried over two days at HM High Court, Bristol later this week.

The judicial review cannot directly test technical aspects of the approved Written Scheme. The court will however assess whether the council has acted unlawfully in approving a scheme that clearly undermines an earlier judgement by the Appeal Court which unambiguously endorsed the specific AM noise controls imposed on the planning permission.

Nonetheless, argument will inevitably focus on the AM condition itself which clearly has far-reaching implications on construction and timelines for the Den Brook wind turbines.

Den Brook Judicial Review Group


GOVERNMENT SUPPRESSES NOISE PROTECTION EXPERT ADVICE
New Evidence (December 2009) Shows that Government Suppressed Expert Advice to Lower Wind Turbine Noise Limits Intended to Protect Residents

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