Silton wind turbine inquiry: Don't turn up the noise at night
At the fourth day of session two of the public inquiry into Ecotricity’s plan to site four giant wind turbines on land near Silton, north west of Gillingham, the parties discussed the conditions, governing noise and other planning issues, that might be imposed by planning authority North Dorset District Council and would be acceptable to the appellants, Ecotricity.
All inquiries are now obliged to discuss conditions in the event that permission is granted, to save time in the future, but it does not pre-empt the inspector’s decision.
The potential noise levels of the turbines was the focus of discussion, when Ecotricity’s barrister David Hardy said that while the Environmental Impact Assessment of noise had worked on the Candidate turbine, it would not necessarily be the same model of the turbine that would be erected at Silton.
That would depend on a competitive commercial tendering process, and in the two years the development could take, the current model may no longer be available.
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The reason for the discussion is that some turbines have various noise/capacity settings, and objectors feared that Ecotricity might want to set the machines on a noisier, and therefore more productive, mode during the night.
Robert Davis, NDDC’s noise consultant, assured the inquiry that it was not part of Ecotricity’s appeal to operate the turbines louder at night than in the day, and Mr Hardy said he was happy for that to be prevented by planning conditions.
The inquiry continues at 9.30am on Tuesday 25th September.
Keep checking this website for reports from this week’s sessions and there will be a further update in the Blackmore Vale Magazine on Friday.
By Gay Pirrie-Weir