Calls grow to turn off wind turbines by Kessingland and Gisleham

LEGAL THREAT: Campaigners in Kessingland and Gisleham say the wind turbines alongside the A12 are co

LEGAL THREAT: Campaigners in Kessingland and Gisleham say the wind turbines alongside the A12 are continuing to cause problems for villagers and claim Waveney District Council is failing to take action to address their concerns. picture: JAMES BASS - Credit: Eastern Daily Press © 2012

A campaign group which is calling for the Kessingland wind turbines to be switched off has accused council officials of 'dragging their heels' over the issue.

The Kessingland Wind Turbine Pressure Group (KWTPG) claims Waveney District Council is failing to tackle the noise and shadow flicker problems linked to the two 125m turbines by the A12, which have prompted about 400 complaints since they started operating in the summer of 2011.

Tim Nathan, spokesman for KWTPG, said the group had spent thousands of pounds seeking legal advice about obtaining a noise abatement order.

He said: 'Why should we have to spend that money to do something about the turbines when the council should be doing so?

'The turbines have been going for two and half years now and the council are dragging their heels over this.

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'The noise the turbines make is so damn annoying and it is affecting the quality of lives of people.'

More than 45 households in Gisleham and Kessingland have made complaints about noise or shadow flicker, which is caused when the turbines' blades cast shadows across nearby homes.

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In August last year, Waveney revealed that turbine noise levels at one home in Whites Lane, Kessingland, constituted a statutory nuisance.

KWTPG member Richard Dexter, 66, of Black Street, Gisleham, said 'The noise and shadow flicker is horrendously annoying... We are now two and a half years down the line and Waveney needs to get off its backside and actually do something.'

The turbines are operated by Triodos Renewables and are said to generate enough power for 3,000 homes.

Adrian Warman, operations manager at Triodos, said it had acted to address local concerns by installing software to change the turbines' pitch, leading to a 'small difference' in noise levels, and other computer programmes had been used to automatically turn off the turbines if there were problems with shadow flicker.

He said Triodos was working with Waveney to monitor these issues and it would act in the 'most responsible way' for the local community.

Stephen Ardley, Waveney's deputy leader and cabinet member for green environment and operational partnerships, said the council had 'every sympathy' with villagers and it would continue to seek ways to address the problems.

But he added: 'Despite the continued and painstaking investigations of environmental health officers, and taking all current information gathered into consideration, there is simply not enough evidence to show that the disturbance amounts to a statutory nuisance in law which would enable us to serve an abatement notice under the Environmental Protection Act 1990. This conclusion has been arrived at after very careful consideration by the officers involved and relevant experts from our legal team.'

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