Arecleoch Extension Inquiry Topic 5 Noise including Infrasound and Low Frequency Noise

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Electricity Act 1989 Town and Country Planning (Scotland) Acts 1997, 2006 and 2019


ECU Reference: ECU00001864

SAC Ref: 19/00658/DEEM

 DPEA Ref: WIN-370-2

Topic 5 Noise including Infrasound and Low Frequency Noise

Of relevance and background is this paper published by Dr John Yelland

This Precognition details our evidence on noise and includes a response where appropriate to the applicant’s comments in their Statement of Case [CD 15.4 ] Topic 5 Noise and [CD 22] Inquiry Report Noise Dr M Cand 6 -1- 2021

The opinions expressed in this submission are believed to be the truth and based on current environmental legislation, current published guidance from statutory authorities and referenced where applicable.

The Evidence

Legislation and Guidance:

  1. The statutory requirements and published guidance for content and accepted standards for noise risk assessment as provided by the Scottish Government, UK and EU authorities and South Ayrshire Council’s approved Development Plan.
  2. A Noise Impact Assessment has been prepared by Matthew Cand of Hoare Lea Acoustics on behalf of the applicant for this application [5] A Volume_4b TA_13.1_-_Environmental_Noise_Assessment_Part_1 as part of the required Environmental Risk Assessment (EIA). Amongst other legislative requirements, this report is required to comply with [CD23.25] SCRC 112017 No. 101 ELECTRICITY The Electricity Works (Environmental Impact Assessment) (Scotland) Regulations 2017.

8. It would be expected that the applicant’s consultant of 12+ year’s experience and their legal team to be aware of the current and applicable legislation in their area of practice


  1. Their legal representative seemed to express surprise that we should require a cumulative NIA for Arecleoch Extension which included Clauchrie. We therefore wish to add Volume 2 Chapter 10 10.3 Cumulative (Clauchrie and Markhill) noise contour map


Figure 1. Volume 2 Chapter 10 10.3 Cumulative (Clauchrie and Mark Hill) noise contour map


  1. We are not considering a short-term project, or even one lasting 25 years, as has been the norm for the past 2 decades or so, but one “in perpetuity”. This has the potential to include even larger turbines in the future, which would incrementally increase adverse cumulative noise and visual impact in respect of residential amenity.



  1. South Ayrshire Council commissioned ACCON as consultants to undertake a Noise Impact Assessment. Table 13.3 2 – Volume 2 EIA Report Chapter 13 – EIA Report June 2019 refers to the need for a rigorous cumulative risk assessment.

Regrettably, it appears SAC have not adhered to their own guidance in [CD 3.1] [CD 3.2] [CD 3.3] [CD3.4] and [CD3.5] which all refer to:


[CD3.4] Proposed LDP 29Sept 2019): page 80 Renewable Energy:


  1. They do not have any other significant detrimental effect on the amenity of

nearby residents, including from noise and shadow flicker;


Their cumulative impact in combination with other existing and approved

wind energy developments, and those for which applications for approval

have already been submitted, is acceptable. CD 23.103 noise 46 ClauchrieVolume_2_Chapter_10_-_Figure_10.3_-_Cumulative_Noise_Contour_Plot and CD1.3.5 Figures Volume 3e figure  13.2


  1. This application is [CD23.71 Noise 14 SLR] final_report_wind_farm_impacts_study_july_2015_issue

“has highlighted the importance of not only calculating noise levels but also considering the duration and character of noise exposure. Planning policy on noise in Scotland requires qualitative impacts to be assessed and considered at the application stage“.(my emphasis)


  1. If plans or programmes, which can include such measures as planning guidance / regulation for wind development, are being used as part of the EIA, which have not undergone the legally required SEA, then any subsequent planning permission awarded on the basis of that EIA, is illegal. See Chapter 1.3 page 4: [92 noise 35] Submission on Draft Revised Wind Energy Guidelines as published in December 2019 (002)

[CD23.93 noise 36] European Court Imposes Environmental Assessment Requirements



  1. Kilrenzie: The Council has objected on residential visual amenity: [58 Noise 1]


Para 25. It is of significant concern that likewise, there will be adverse residential amenity impacts in respect of operational wind turbine noise, (both in the audible and inaudible spectrum), in addition to, “the significant adverse visual residential amenity effects”.


  1.  [83 noise 26 Noise monitoring Locations A]. We have queries about the noise monitoring locations and whether it has been done correctly? In particular with regard to the poor selection of monitoring locations. We therefore have little confidence in the NIA. We also question the noise nuisance from Markhill on the chosen locations.


  1. As stated in the current WHO noise guidelines, [CD11.2] Standard methods of measuring sound, most commonly including A-weighting, do not capture the low-frequency sound and amplitude modulation characteristic of wind turbine noise… »


  1. The following two graphs Fig 2 & Fig 3 below from SAM monitoring conducted at Dochroyal (one of the noise locations) demonstrate the vast difference as to what acoustic energy is shown when using A Weighting, compared to Unweighted. A Weighting is designed to filter out low frequency noise and should not be used, if there is a possibility of a predominance of ILFN. We can see below that using A Weighting there would appear to be nothing in the noise environment to be concerned about, whereas Unweighted shows a high level of Acoustic Energy.



  1. Technical Appendix 13.1 dated 4th -10th June 2019: In Volume B 131 pages 10/11 Effect of Sound on People, Hoare Lea have not referenced the 2018 WHO current guide lines, but have chosen to specifically reference the out of date WHO guidance in their NIA. As stated in my objection submitted on 30th August 2019, it is of significant concern that a qualified IOA accredited acoustician has simply ignored the latest WHO guidelines.


  1. WHO [CD11.2] States @ Page 103: “The studies should use measures of exposure including noise exposure at wide range of levels and frequencies (including low-frequency noise), with information on noise levels outdoors and indoors (particularly relevant for effects on sleep).”

Page 106: “The fourth principle is to inform and involve communities that may be affected by a change in noise exposure.

Page 110: “5.6 Route to implementation: policy, collaboration and the role of the health sector promoting the guidelines to health practitioners and physicians, especially at the community level (through associations of physicians, cardiologists and so on as part of the stakeholder group);”

Dr. J Yelland Note on importance of WHO 2018 Noise Guidelines ref Wind Turbine Noise.


  1. Finnish Study. This pilot study has been interrupted because there is no funding but there is a citizen’s initiative underway. The Statistical mathematical research has also been assisted by the University of Eastern Finland, which has taken care of all possible risk analyses, such as the impact of a family with children, age, register quality, etc. This study is another example of the WHO: The fourth principle is to inform and involve communities that may be affected by a change in noise exposure.



  1. WHO recommendations above, encourages and authorises the kind of monitoring done by SAM [CD23.97 noise 40] Noise monitoring Locations B –

SAM has been developed to allow lay people impacted by industrial ILFN, not necessarily wind turbines, to be able to record acoustic measurements in and outside their home. The equipment is sensitive, it is designed to BE sensitive so it can measure the full spectrum of acoustical energy including infrasound, low frequency and audible sound pressure waves.


SAM has a ‘Report’ function which allows us to see what we are measuring. This was illustrated in my original objection submitted on 17th November 2019. In Fig 2: dBA mode we see what is measured according to ETSU Guidance which is audible noise only. In Fig 3: Unweighted mode we see ALL the acoustical data during the ten minute recording:

Figure 2: 10 minute Spectrum of Noise recording – A Weighting


Figure 3: The same 10 minute Spectrum recording Unweighted


  1. [CD23.74 noise 17] Hazel Guest Inadequate Standards EHO Assessments. Received 5th March 2003. This paper pre-empts the WHO 2018 guidelines


ABSTRACT Knowledge of the latest results in Low Frequency Noise (LFN) and infrasound research are not being transmitted, either to government whose job it is to legislate on standards of noise and vibration, or to local authority officers whose job it is to look into complaints and enforce standards. The dismissal of complaints is frequently based on inappropriate techniques such as the application of A-weighting, a lack of understanding of vibration transmission including building resonance, and a lack of basic understanding about the perception of low frequencies by complainants, for instance the lowering of the lower audibility threshold arising from exposure.


This paper asks those involved in research to ensure that their relevant findings are more widely disseminated, along with advice to legislators and local authorities on measurement, information on LF and infrasound resonance in buildings, recommendations for appropriate standards to be used in assessing LF and infrasound as a Statutory Nuisance, and information about the effects of long-term exposure. There is a need for more research in situ into specific effects.


  1. SUMMARY This paper examines some of the barriers experienced by those who complain to their local authorities about low frequency noise (LFN).

Given this paper raised concerns back in 2003, there is simply no credible reasons as to the lack of response by the wind industry’s acousticians who continue to deny, or ignore this serious issue. Regrettably this appears to be the position of the Appellant’s witness in this case.


  1. This is exactly what the Hunterston Turbine Victims experienced from the NHS Ayrshire and Arran Health Board along with Health Protection Scotland, as the witness statements from those affected by ILFN from the Hunterston Turbines illustrates. This will be mainly dealt with by Dr Yelland and Professor Alves Pereira – detailed referenced in my Report.


  1. Here we have an eminently qualified, accredited acoustician saying the same Malcolm Swinbanks’ own perspective has been derived from real first-hand experience of the effects of practical industrial installations and of life in a windfarm community.

This was the title of his presentation at the 6th International Meeting on Wind Turbine Noise Glasgow 20-23 April 2015 Direct Experience of Low Frequency Noise and Infrasound within a Windfarm Community. [CD23.94 noise 37] M.A.Swinbanks_Final-Poster_F2_0 CD23.95 noise 38 Senate Select Committee_Swinbanks and Leventhal  testimony_2015_06_23_3580 (002)

[CD23.96 noise 39] WTN2015 Swinbanks_Direct Experience of Low Frequency Noise and Infrasound within a community.


  1. In [97 noise 40] Noise monitoring Locations B we see examples of preliminary noise analysis from data collected from these locations.


  1. New report published 7th December 2020 Cardiologist’s Investigation. [72 noise 15] Johnson-health-effects-20-12- 07 Cardiologists Investigation and Response to WTN. We consider this is paper is extremely timely and topical and will also reference this in our oral evidence to inform the Inquiry.


  1. [72 noise 15] From Wind Farm Noise (textbook):


There is a considerable amount of anecdotal evidence and published research that suggests that wind farm noise does seriously and adversely affect a small but significant proportion of the population.  Nevertheless, many acoustic, social science and medical professionals ignore this evidence by defining ‘scientific evidence’ in a very narrow way and then stating that there is no ‘scientific evidence’ available that proves beyond doubt that wind farm noise can harm anyone. 


(Writer comment:  This is exactly the wording and precisely the tact that Wind Energy uses to dispute the magnitude of contrary data that I have summarized and presented here).

As pointed out by May and McMurtry (2015), there seems to be a tendency in the medical research discipline to interpret the lack of rigorous evidence of a causation link as proof that the link does not exist.) 


(Writer’s comment:  Previously, in part – 8 “Peer Review”, I described the nine elements that Sir Austin Bradford Hill felt were critical in establishing causation are relevant and adequate to declare (in assessment of the data) that IWTs cause adverse health effects. 


Sir Hill noted that “all scientific work is incomplete – whether it be observational or experimental.  All scientific work is liable to be upset or modified by advancing knowledge


But that does not confer upon us a freedom to ignore the knowledge we already have, or to postpone the action that it appears to demand at a given time.  In other words, if it quacks like a duck, looks like duck and flies like a duck, (and 6 other features) …  then it is reasonable and appropriate to believe it is a duck). 


There have been many hundreds of case studies that demonstrate that the health of a significant percentage of people has been affected by wind turbines. Whether or not these adverse effects are directly caused by wind turbine noise, or are indirectly caused by such things as sleep disturbance as a result of a nearby wind farm is a moot point, as either case results in the same conclusion:


that is, wind turbines result in some people living in their vicinity suffering adverse health effects.


  1. Health Canada [CD11.3]

[CD23.75 noise 18] Letter from Sherri Lange Re Health Canada Study – quoting from Denise Wolfe: [CD23.73 noise 17] Wolfe-HC-WTN-study-141126 Canada Health Study rebuttal Highlights:

Her work of 39 pages show us how to identify the HC Study as “propaganda”, a report of dubious status designed to obfuscate, and promote wind agendas.

Following are the key points related to the HC “presentation of information” issues identified in this review, with further details being provided in the body of the report: • The claim that the much-referred-to publication by investigator David Michaud appeared in a peer-reviewed scientific journal is false • Descriptions of findings are misleading, suggesting certainty of Health Canada’s claims • The Summary of Results was released without access to Raw data which should be a matter of public record • The Summary of Results was released prior to apparent scientific review of their results, and is not accompanied by a peer-reviewed paper or presentation • The information provided is inconsistent between HC publications


  1. [CD23.79 noise 22]2 WP EAM WTN Noise and Health INWG final Dr C Hanning 26-06-15 Extracts;

Notably Hanning comments on the Health Canada Study Extracts included:


  1. 65 This study, and its interpretation, have been criticised (Krogh and McMurtry 201470) but its findings confirm that wind turbine noise has adverse health effects at noise levels permitted by ETSU.


  1. The primary focus of WP3.2 is adverse impacts attributed to audible wind turbine noise, (EAM) however the author also raises important concerns with regards to lack of guidance to protect against low frequency noise and the increasing size and generating capacity of turbines sited in quiet rural settings, along with relevant topographical references.


These extracts are to highlight specific evidence from within this extensive body of research relevant to inform this Inquiry.


We submit WP3.2 as substantive evidence, forming an important part of our case.


It is important to note at; 5.12 Studies of health-related effects & 5.40 Sleep disturbance and health effects, Dr Hanning conducts a detailed evaluation of a significant body of evidence, which we invite the Reporters to consider as informative.


Far from the position expounded by the applicant that there is no evidence of adverse health impacts attributed to wind turbine noise, this research proves otherwise.


  1. Dr Hanning also references Autism and ASD impacts on children see below:

This has significant implications for Kilrenzie who foster children. Cindy Aubad is a Respite Carer. A statement has been submitted by Mr and Mrs Audbad who foster children, some with autism, attachment disorder and epilepsy. [CD23.84 noise 27] Statement from Cindy Aubad


  1. Dr Hanning states71 Some subjects with ASD have an abnormal and distressing fixation with rotating objects.  This is recognised as a diagnostic feature of ASD and can therefore be presumed to be common.  

Several UK planning inquiries took account of such subjects in their decisions to refuse consent such as Penpell75, Flixborough76 and Caduscott Farm77

The author has been involved with two cases locally at Ketton and Somerby with children with identical symptoms where planning consent was properly refused.




  1. [CD23.97 noise 40] Noise Monitoring Locations B These include a number of residential properties in the area that have reported ‘noise nuisance. Reference will be made to all the maps and figures in this document in regard to residential amenity and cumulative impact.


  1. [CD23.80 noise 23] Extracts WP8.1 Arecleoch Inquiry are extracts from this document to form part of the evidence to inform the Inquiry and be a reference source to rebut the appellant’s Statement of Case in respect of adverse Wind Turbine Noise impacts.


  1. Here is the whole document: Wind Turbine Amplitude Modulation & Planning Control Study Work Package 8.1

Review of WSP/Parsons Brinckerhoff and Institute of Acoustics Amplitude Modulation Studies Author: Richard Cox. Contributions by: Richard Cowen, Bev Gray, Melvin Grosvenor, Chris Hanning, Mike Hulme, Les Huson, Trevor Sherman,  Mike Stigwood, John Yelland 12 January 2017.

[CD23.81 noise 24] INWG AM Study WP8.1 Jan2017 release 01-03-2017 Arecleoch Extension Inquiry


  1. Rebuttal [CD23.85 noise 28] to [CD 11.11] Adventures In Pseudoscience:

A Case Study Of The Rhetorical Tricks Of A Fake Disease Anti-Wind Advocate

April 22nd, 2019 by Michael Barnard


[CD23.85 noise 28] Extract from Article Published on Stop These Things: December 14, 2014.

Comment: It is somewhat disappointing and perplexing that the applicant would choose to submit this core document, presumably as meaningful evidence for consideration, particularly in the light of the growing number of affected residents worldwide, suffering significant adverse wind turbine noise impacts.


It is apparent that the author has no published academic, or scientific standing and one wonders why this “Ad hominem” is considered relevant the inquiry.


Our professional and expert witness does not wish to specifically comment on the content, not with-standing the published information contained in this rebuttal for the Reporter’s to duly consider.


  1. Precautionary Principle

[CD23.98 noise 41] Evans-Alun.-Environmental-Noise-Pollution

Dr Alun Evans, Professor Emeritus at the Centre for Public Health at Queen’s University Belfast in his paper: Environmental Noise Pollution: Has Public Health Become too Utilitarian?

The degree of Collateral Damage caused by wind farms should be totally unacceptable to Public Health which must, like good government, fully exercise the Precautionary Principle…..Governments pursuing renewable energy targets must adhere to the Precautionary Principle (see below). They have a duty to commission appropriate studies to ensure that the health of their rural citizens is adequately protected. Rights of rural-dwelling citizens are every bit as important as those of the rest of society. In fact, in terms of wind energy, the overall benefit is fairly modest…and the adverse effect on people’s health is far from small.




  1. If plans or programmes, which can include such measures as planning guidance / regulation for wind development, are being used as part of the EIA, which have not undergone the legally required SEA, then any subsequent planning permission awarded on the basis of that EIA, is illegal.


  1. Common sense suggests there appears to be significant risks to many properties with potential to affect public health and rural habitation.


  1. The previously stated position remains that the Scottish Ministers, when considering this wind farm proposal, should refuse S36 consent as the Electricity Act tests are not met and that, in the terms of the deemed planning permission aspect, they should refuse deemed planning permission on the grounds that the proposals are not in accordance with the Development Plan and Guidance and that the identified adverse impacts cannot be mitigated against, especially given the proposed unprecedented height to blade tip at 200m, along with the 5.6MW generation capacity of these untested turbines, excessively close to the nearest properties.


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