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Posts Tagged ‘legal action wind turbines’

We’re still getting plenty of queries about leasing land for industrial wind turbines. We found a very good document from North Dakota with advice for landowners here:

http://www.ag.ndsu.edu/pubs/agecon/market/ec1394.pdf

and note the advice to seek legal help before signing.

While they do a good job of oultining the liability issues, what they DON’T tell you is that your “involuntary neighbours” can be very upset—the liability under “nuisance” is understated–you could have your entire community suing you if the noise and vibration from the industrial wind turbines affects them. This is especially true, as in North Gower-Richmond, where turbines are being placed within meters of homes. (Experts have said that Ontario’s 550-meter setback is not based on science but rather on geography and a desire to squeeze as many turbines into space as possible.)

Anyone looking at the dollar signs and considering leasing for turbines owes it to themselves, their families, and their community to look carefully at this issue. Twenty years is a long time to wish something had never happened.

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From the U.K. this week, an opinion about noise levels from an industrial wind turbine development and how they might affect a proposed resort. What is key is that this is a letter from the solicitors acting for the corporate wind developer, Wind Prospect Ltd.

Note the highlighted key paragraph; what this means is, the wind developers themselves acknowledge that the wind turbine development is incompatible with the “peace and quiet of the countryside.”

Hammonds

June 11 2010

Planning Department

Northumberland County Council, County Hall, Morpeth, Northumberland

NE61 2EF

Dear Sirs

The Waterfalls, Birtley Wark, Hexham

Proposed Holiday Centre and Equestrian Development

Application Reference:20090663

Thank you for your email of 3 June 2010.

In relation to comments made by Mr Spencer, on behalf of the applicant, we would re-iterate our view made in previous correspondence that a proper noise assessment is required before this proposal can be approved. We have some concerns that the 23 dB attentuation figuresuggested by the Council’s Public Protection Officer would not be sufficient for this development, given that the proposed holiday accommodation would not be able to achieve the levels of sound insulation that might reasonably be expected of a permanent dwelling house.

The applicant’s noise figures are derived from Wind Prospect’s own noise asessment of the Green Rigg turbines. As such, the noise levels were assessed at Waterfalls Farm, which is significantly further away from the Green Rigg wind farm than the proposed development. As a result, the noise levels at the proposed development are likely to be higher then [sic] the predicted levels and will require a much larger attentuation than the proposed level.

Moreover, this is a proposed holiday centre, where patrons would reasonably expect to sit outside to enjoy the relative peace and quiet of the countryside. The acoustical performance of the accommodation has no effect on the external noise levels. Noise from the permitted wind energy development will be very likely to provoke complaints, and this will place both the Environmental Health department and the wind farm operator in an impossible position: a complaint about noise could be found to be justified, and construed as noise nuisance, even though the wind farm was operating lawfully within the constraints of its planning conditions.

Without a proper noise assessment, it is impossible to clarify exactly what attentuation would be sufficient, and no judgement can be made on the acceptability or otherwise of external noise levels. We wold, therefore, urge the Council to request a proper assessment from the applicant.

Yours faithfully

Hammonds LLP

2 Park Lane Leeds www.hammonds.com

***

Note also that the proposed development in this case also features horses: industrial wind turbine developments can also produce shadow flicker which can frighten horses, and make riding dangerous when the shadow flicker is in effect.

To email us, northgowerwindactiongroup@yahoo.ca

News daily at http://windconcernsontario.wordpress.com

and opinions at http://northgowerwindturbines.wordpress.com

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As noted here last week, the folks in Central Huron—who are facing two projects of industrial wind turbines for a total of 260 MW (the Marlborough project is starting out at 20 MW)—have launched a class action suit aimed at the landowners who have leased their land for turbines. CHAT or Central Huron Against Turbines, hired the law firm of Donnelly Murphy to initiate the action.

And now they’ve learned that the corporate wind developers are trying to find out who the individuals are in the wind action group, so they can threaten them with “intentional interference with contractual relations.” Here is the definition of that term from Wikipedia:

 Intentional interference with contractual     relations is a common law tort that applies to an activity or activities that causes a damage to contractual relations between parties. It may include acts that prevent parties from contracting or it may cause the parties who have already entered into a contract to fail to perform or otherwise complete their contractual relations.

    An example may be statements by an individual set to prevent someone from entering into a contract. Of course not all such statements may be interference with a contract as in an open market individuals can compete for contracts and can attempt to properly influence individuals so that they may decide between one contractor and another.

What the wind action groups are really doing is seeking to INFORM people who are thinking of leasing land for turbines, and informing people who have already leased that there are options, that they still have choices, in other words. Clearly in this case, with the threat of legal action against the landowners, the wind developers are worrying about what happened with farm owners in East Garafraxa where, when residents/involuntary neighbours threatened legal action, several of the landowners backed out. They even paid penalties to do it, saying it wasn’t worth going against their community, and having to fight these legal battles.

What a place Ontario has become. 

For more news around the province go to http://windconcernsontario.wordpress.com

See a story today on a recent count of bird kills–especially raptors–at Wolfe Island. NOTE: for people in the Ottawa area, this will be discussed on All in a Day today, CBC 91.5 FM

and to email the North Gower Wind Action Group northgowerwindactiongroup@yahoo.ca

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