A GROUP representing a host of residents’ associations is calling for the Navitus Bay wind farm to be put on hold while the levels of noise it could generate are investigated.
Following a special meeting at Bournemouth Borough Council earlier this month, the Poole and Christchurch Bays Association says that Navitus Bay Development Limited, which has now submitted its planning application to the Government, needs to look into and publicly report on the issue of noise.
Philip Dewhurst, spokesman for PCBA, which represents more than 40 residents’ groups around the area, said: “According to professional acoustics expert Dr John Yelland, operational noise from the wind farm would be significantly above the public protection limit of 35 dBA set down in the Noise Regulations.
“This new information has been provided following questions on noise issues raised at the council meeting on April 10.
“To comply with the regulations, the wind farm would have to be sited miles further out to sea. As it is, the whole of the Bournemouth, Poole and Christchurch conurbation – with a population approaching 400,000 – would be over the limit of 35 dBA, leading to unacceptable noise nuisance and possible property blight. Swanage and the Isle of Wight would also be affected.”
He said noise travelled a long way over water and said that NBDL had only used a calculation for sound travel over land. It would be “an appalling catastrophe” if the wind farm was built as currently proposed, added Mr Dewhurst.
Mike Unsworth, project director at Navitus Bay, said: “We strongly reject Dr Yelland’s analysis, which we consider to be factually inaccurate.
“Independent noise specialists investigated the potential noise impacts associated with the proposed wind park using recognised standards appropriate to offshore wind.
“These are the same standards that have been employed by developers assessing potential noise impacts at many other offshore wind farm schemes around the UK.
“These investigations were documented in the Environmental Statement, which forms part of our planning application. They concluded that the predicted noise levels are not expected to exceed the threshold criteria during the construction, operation and maintenance, and decommissioning phases.”
He said there was “no evidence of operational noise impacts” in coastal locations near any of the 22 offshore wind farms around the UK.