Fury over school turbine racket in Rhosesmor

Reporter:

Robert Doman

NOISE from a school wind turbine likened to a helicopter continues to cause problems – more than a year after a fight to have it removed.
 
High winds yesterday led to more noise coming from the blades on the 20m turbine at Ysgol Rhos Helyg in Rhosesmor – just as youngsters tried to concentrate for important exams inside.
 
And one man living nearby said vibrations from the turbine in high winds is making things in his kitchen shake.
 
The latest problems come despite the blades on the turbine being changed last year in an attempt to cut the noise problem and more than a year after parents and residents petitioned for the turbine’s removal.
 
At that time school headteacher Gareth Roberts said the structure, which was installed by Flintshire Council, would be taken away if the noise persisted.
 
Yesterday parents voiced concerns about children at the school taking national curriculum exams being disturbed by the noise.
 
Flintshire Council staff say the new blades are less noisy than the old ones and Mr Roberts said there was no impact on pupils taking the tests, but parents said they did not know how their children would be able to concentrate.
 
Julia Weigh, 53, whose 11-year-old daughter is taking the tests, said: “The turbine is making a horrendous noise.
 
“It is ridiculous for them to be taking important tests with that racket going on.
 
“People aren’t going to let this lie. It has been up for a long time now and been dogged with problems.
 
“The headteacher promised it would be taken down if the problem persisted, but nothing has happened.”
 
Resident David Wright, who lives near the school, said: “The turbine howls a lot and the ground vibrates when the wind changes direction, causing things to shake in my kitchen.
 
“It shouldn’t have been put up this close to houses. I can’t imagine what the children in the school are thinking when they are trying to concentrate.
 
“It has never been quiet but it really comes alive when the wind gets up. I can’t sit outside and enjoy my garden because it makes such a racket.”
 
The turbine was installed by Flintshire Council in the grounds of the primary school in 2013, 20 metres away from the building, with the aim of making energy savings and reducing costs by £3,000 per year.
 
Following its installation, headteacher Mr Roberts had claimed the turbine “doesn’t make any sound at all”, but last year he told the Leader that if the noise issue persisted “the wind turbine will be dismantled and taken away”.
 
Speaking yesterday he said: “If the noise is persistently bad my understanding is that it will be taken away. I believe Flintshire Council is working with residents to establish noise levels and the data will give us an accurate picture.
 
“That will determine the noise levels and whether they constitute a nuisance.
 
“But there has been no impact on children inside the school taking their tests. Noise levels inside the school are negligible.”
 
Andrew Farrow, Flintshire Council’s chief officer planning and environment, said: “The noise from the turbine has been significantly reduced following the fitting of new blades several months ago. However, we are aware of recent local concerns about noise levels and our Public Protection team is monitoring the situation.”

See full story in the Leader

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