Belfast Telegraph

Sunday 20 April 2014

Health costs of wind farms must be added to bill

YOUR editorial, 'Green energy drive's black mark' (DebateNI, December 12), failed to mention the most worrying aspect of the wind turbine plague assaulting Northern Ireland.

As you said, aesthetically and financially there appears to be little benefit to ordinary people from the development of wind farms. But aesthetics and economics are only part of the problem.

There is increasing evidence of serious adverse health effects associated with wind turbine noise, particularly arising from sleep disturbance and deprivation of sleep. Noise from wind turbines is propagated over long distances and penetrates buildings.

If we are to avoid a wind turbine health epidemic, the minimum separation distances between dwellings and turbines must be increased. Emerging international consensus points to a minimum of two kilometres, with some countries opting for three.

The current noise and separation guidelines used for planning in Northern Ireland are based on the science of a time when wind turbines were in their infancy and are manifestly out-of-date. Consequently, the minimum separation distances from dwellings are grossly inadequate. Your editorial proposes that consumers and communities might be compensated for these blots on the landscape by financial benefits, which have not yet materialised – and may never materialise.

What price do you put on their health and wellbeing?

CONCERNED READER

Lisnaskea, Co Fermanagh

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