Scotland recommends 2km from the edge of cities, towns and villages [SPP6], Denmark specifies 4x the height of the turbine [and if under 6x the height of the turbine, assesses the dwelling for compensation]. In France, the Academy of Medicine recommends 1.5km between large wind turbines and residences. Sound experts in the USA have recommended a minimum of 5dB above background noise which in quiet rural settings equates to 1km or above from residences for modern large wind turbines.
There is no set guidance across England but different counties have developed differing policies:
Lincolnshire recommends 2km between housing and wind turbines over 100metres. North Oxfordshire recommends a minimum setback distance of 800m from dwellings. Northumberland currently have no setback policy.
The industry has been quoted as using 700-800m as best practice:
For example, E-ON state “A certain distance should be kept between the location of every wind turbine and the nearest dwellings. As a standing point we use a 750m buffer.”
Since 2006, RES has been quoted as setting ‘habitation buffers to 800m to reflect good practice in wind farm design’.
‘Enertrag UK do not site turbines closer than 700m to properties as this has been found to be a sensible distance to avoid issues with noise and shadow flicker.’
A wind farm in Achany, Sutherland has recently been temporarily closed down by its local authority due to lack of response to complaints from local residents about noise including those on a property 2km away. [www.northern-times.co.uk/News/Exasperated-planners-shut-wind-farm-down-6934757.htm]
A wind farm in Askam in Furness also has come to an agreement to temporarily pause the turbines in certain wind conditions due to noise problems. [Government survey into Noise from Wind turbines NANR 233].