Increase the notification distance for wind turbine planning applications

Increase the notification distance for wind turbine planning applications from the current 20m radius to

  • 700m for turbines <50m to blade tip
  • 1 km for turbines >50m to blade tip

Why the contribution is important

A 20m notification radius for a wind turbine planning application is a complete nonsense, especially when you consider the blades on many are longer than the required notification distance. 

The current planning scheme of a newspaper advert and online register is inadequate. When work started on the first turbine to go in near my home it was a complete shock. Even knowing about it, it was a struggle to find it in the planning register using the usual search fields. The application did not mention the farm name/address, business or family names. The address used the name for a small scrap of land that you would only know with intimate local knowledge. It's not named on any maps I've seen. 

This turbine is now causing issues with shadow flicker in all the rooms of a neighbours house.  It goes on for 15 to 20 mins at a time and she has to close all the blinds to stop her 6 year old son feeling sick. 

There is also a noise issue with this turbine that is only going to get worse as a third is installed in close proximity. 

The statements made by developers that shadow flicker will not occur or noise will be within limits are frequently inaccurate. 

A greater notification distance would have made sure we were given the opportunity to respond to the planning application and to challenge any shoddy or manipulated studies supporting it. If everything is in order then we have no valid reason to object - no reason for honest and reputable companies or individuals to object. 

by Iainmackay on February 25, 2016 at 01:39AM

Current Rating

Average score : 4.2
Based on : 5 votes


  • Posted by BW February 25, 2016 at 20:12

    This highlights just how biased the Scottish planning system is in favour of wind turbine developers. The system and central government policies are based on falsehoods including
    1. Shadow flicker is not an issue more than 10 rotor diameters.
    2. ETSU-R-97 provides adequate protection from noise nuisance, even though the standard is thoroughly discredited and there is mountains of evidence that EAM noise is a bigger problem at distances of 1km to 2km from the turbine than at the distances of up to 600m normally considered in ETSU-R-97 and the noise does not attenuate with distance.
    3. There are no health issues attributable to wind turbine noise
    4. The environmental reports submitted by developers, written by their own employees or consultants they have commissioned, are trustworthy and honest.
    5. That industrialising the countryside with large ugly equipment and destroying the landscape is somehow justified by alleged but unproven climate change models.
    6. That water courses, private and public water supplies are adequately protected.
    7. That fly by night front companies set up to run wind turbines will still be around at the end of the turbines operating life and willing to decommission fully and that it is acceptable to leave 1000 to 2000 tonnes of concrete in the ground indefinitely for each turbine.
    8. That it is OK to cause the death of wildlife including birds and bats in the name of central government dogma.

    The results of the ClimateXchange Wind Farm Impacts study ([…]/), commissioned by the Scottish Government themselves, has highlighted the failure of the current planning system to protect the public from inappropriate and harmful wind turbine development and planning law and policy should be urgently changed to reflect the true health, amenity and financial cost of wind turbine development.
  • Posted by cheng February 26, 2016 at 10:44

    The notification distance is an issue but there is very little evidence that public comment plays any significant part in the final decision making process.
    An application was lodged with the local planning authority for three wind turbines at Monymusk Aberdeenshire.
    Given the position of these machines being in close proximity to Bennachie hundreds of letters of objection were received by the planners.
    The local area planning committee refused the application but the Scottish Government overruled local democracy and gave it the green light. The hundreds of objectors were totally ignored.
    Interestingly the MOD took exception to this decision and are in the process of taking the case to the Court of Session. A process out with the financial reach of the general public
    It looks like the British Government [MOD] are challenging the Scottish Government[DPEA]?
  • Posted by BW February 26, 2016 at 19:27

    This comment has been removed by a moderator.

  • Posted by FPM73 February 29, 2016 at 11:37

    I agree that on developments of this type there should be a much larger notification area. I have worked within the planning industry as a consultant for many years and most developments do not have the type of impact on neighbours that a windfarm has- simply because they are low to the ground. A 2-3 storey building will not have the same shadowing effect as a 50m high turbine. I am very firmly pro-wind energy but I do believe that because of their elevation and the motion effect these should be made a special case.
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