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Operators refuse to shut down Kessingland turbines disturbing villagers

PUBLISHED: 21:03 01 June 2012 | UPDATED: 09:48 02 June 2012

Kessingland wind turbines near Lowestoft.

Kessingland wind turbines near Lowestoft.

Archant 2012

Villagers disturbed by wind turbines in Kessingland have been told they cannot be shut down while operators try to fix problems with noise and vibration.

Operators EcoGen and Triodos apologised for the disruption at a public meeting today, but refused to stop the turbines amid claims it would lose them money.

More 60 people vented their anger at St Edmunds Hall, Kessingland, which featured the Kessingland Wind Turbine Pressure Group (KWTPG) and a panel including Waveney MP Peter Aldous, representatives from Waveney District Council and operators of the two turbines.

They heard how flickering shadows and noise from the turning blades had stopped some people sleeping and troubled them in their homes. It was also claimed the turbines had caused property prices to fall in the area.

A report by the Waveney District Council’s environmental health officers in May revealed the noise caused by the turbines was not breaching regulations set out by the government or the planning process.

But it was discovered that more complaints were made about noise when the blades were turning at eight metres per second.

Operators of the turbines, at Africa Alive wildlife park and near the A12, have vowed to try and reduce sound at this speed, and are hopeful new equipment installed in the turbines will help stop ‘shadow flicker’.

Meanwhile, villagers in Kessingland and Gisleham have been urged to call an out of hours number for the district council’s environmental health team to report the turbine sound at night.

Speaking at the meeting, Matthew Clayton, director of Triodos, said: “I take the complaints very personally and I want to resolve the issue.

“We offer our sincerest apologies but we cannot switch the turbines off.

“Now we have to get more information about the eight metres per second speed so we can adjust it and help mitigate that.

“Since receiving the district council’s environmental health report on May 18 we have been looking at options to deal with the issue. We have done everything voluntarily. We were surprised there has been a problem with the turbines because we have never had them before.”

After the first public meeting in January, villagers have formed the KWTPG campaign group in a bid to shut down the turbines and have them removed.

Tony Gower, a member of the KWTPG, said: “They operated the turbines without the component fitted to stop shadow flicker and its caused people considerable distress. What are they going to do for these people?”

For more information about KWTPG visit www.turnthemoff.co.uk. To report noise caused by the turbines during the night, call the district council’s environmental health team on 01502 515435 between 7pm and 1am on any Friday and Saturday. To make a report during office hours call 01502 562111.

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