Residents, living in close proximity to the wind turbines operating in the Ring, Portlaw and Kereen/Aglish areas of County Waterford have come together to express their dismay at the negative impacts of living alongside ‘these industrial monstrosities’.
In a statement issued on behalf of residents, living on either side of the county, local claims that “these enormous turbines are making so much noise that families cannot spend time in the usual way enjoying their homes, or gardening or relaxing in the sunshine: now they are closing windows in their houses to block out noise and making sure that livestock are not spooked before they can be approached”.
Residents have compared the noise to “living next door to the M50” or “having a jet engine flying over your house constantly”. The beautiful tranquillity which was once a part of daily life is being ruined by these huge wind farms.
One particular mother of a family in Ring claimed: “The wind turbines have impacted greatly on my life and health and caused me and my family huge stress and anxiety. No one understands the distressing, pulsating, roaring noise coming from these wind turbines except the unfortunate victims living in the shadow of these unsightly monstrosities. There is no escape from this never-ending torment.”
In recent weeks, the statement said that some families are experiencing “the horrible effects of flicker in their homes”.
One particular family have experienced headaches and nausea after prolonged periods of morning flicker and describe it as “being driven crazy, with no escape from the horrendous feeling, until the sun moves away from the turbine”.
According to the statement: “These families feel completely sold out by their local Councillors, TDs and Government who repeatedly ignore the huge body of evidence that is growing steadily across communities in Ireland. The close proximity of these turbines to their homes causing concern not only about noise, but about reduced property prices, damaged landscapes and the potential health impacts that can arise from living so close to these large scale wind developments.”
Professor Graham Roberts, the Head of the Department of Endocrinology at University Hospital Waterford (UHW) and Professor Alun Evans of Queens University Belfast met Energy Minister Alex White on Friday last, calling on the Government to reduce the noise levels of wind turbines, which they say are four times that recommended by the World Health Organisation guidelines.
Said Prof Evans: “Wind turbine syndrome is being experienced by people living in the vicinity of wind farms who have reported sleep disturbances, headaches, dizziness, nausea, tinnitus and inability to concentrate, is real and should be further explored.”
He also referenced other potential health implications including blade flicker, and to “the stress caused by impact on house prices, and inability to sell the property and impacts on the community”.
The joint statement concluded: “The simple fact for the residents of Portlaw, Ring and Kereen/Aglish, is that these turbines are far too close to family homes. European best practice states that setback distances should be between 1.5km and 2km for modern turbines, not 500 metres or less.”