Deepings: ‘Noisy’ windfarm legal fight begins

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A COUPLE who claim their lives have been blighted by the “horrible noise” of a nearby wind farm are seeking thousands of pounds damages in the High Court.

A hearing was told that Jane and Julian Davis moved out of Grays Farm in Deeping St Nicholas into rented accommodation in December 2006, six months after the eight-turbine wind farm began operating about half a mile from their home.

The tenant farmers claim the noise of the turbine blades became intolerable, disrupting their sleep and making them feel ill and it was so severe that it has made the farmhouse no longer marketable as a family home.

In what could be a landmark case for hundreds of other families, lawyers for the couple are seeking an injunction to modify the windfarm by removing two turbines and cutting the operating hours of a third machine to reduce the noise. They are also seeking £400,000 damages.

Alternatively, they are seeking damages plus a like-for-like replacement of their farm home worth around £2.5 million.

The defendants in the case include R C Tinsley Ltd and Nicholas Watts, who rented out their land for the wind farm, and Fenland Windfarms Ltd and Fenland Green Power Co-operative Ltd, operators of the turbines.

Before the hearing, Mrs Davis said: “I want to stop the noise so we can go back home and relax and sleep and live like we did five years ago.

“It is a horrible noise. It is unpredictable but occurs mainly in the course of the night.

“There is a hum and ‘whoom, whoom, whoom’ that are alien to an isolated rural environment.”

The hearing also heard claims from Peter Harrison QC, representing the couple, that even when they carried out their own tests to prove that the noise was there, Mr and Mrs Davis faced “an industry operator which refused to acknowledge the noise their turbines make and the effect that has had on the lives of these claimants”.

The defendants’ lawyers say it is “not doubted” that the Davis family has been affected by noise but say it is an “over-reaction” to what they can hear or they have become “unduly sensitive” to wind farm noise.

They deny “that there has been in the past or is presently any actionable nuisance” and that the defendants have reasonably attempted to investigate complaints.

The hearing continues.