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Wind Turbines


All wind turbines will produce sound when rotating, which usually falls into two categories:

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  • Aerodynamic Noise - generated by the movement of the blades through the air.
  • Mechanical Noise - from the generator and any associated gearbox.

The planning authority has a duty to consider the effect of noise as part of the planning process.  A noise report, undertaken by a qualified acoustician, will therefore be required as part of the wind turbine planning application to enable an assessment to be made as to whether the level of noise produced by the turbine, both on its own and cumulatively with any other turbines in the area, will have an adverse effect on the amenity of nearby noise sensitive premises.

Planning applications submitted without a noise report or with an inadequate noise report will result in delays within the planning process. and can sometimes result in a refusal of the application due to inadequate or insufficient information.

To help expedite the planning process and ensure that all required information is contained within the submitted noise report, our Community and Environmental Protection Teams have produced a guidance document “Noise Report - Minimum Information Requirements”. 

This sets out the minimum level of information that must be contained with a noise report submitted as part of the application process in Cornwall and includes a checklist to be completed and returned with the report.

Those reports that are accompanied by a completed checklist have been found more likely to contain all the required information, which in turn means delays in the planning process are less likely.

Due to the large number of wind turbines within Cornwall, noise assessments are becoming more complex due to the need to assess the cumulative noise issues.  We require cumulative noise to be considered within the noise report in accordance with our Minimum Requirements Document.  Where cumulative noise is not relevant, we will require a statement to show that it has been considered. Information regarding the existing turbines within Cornwall (installed, planned or within the planning system) but we recommend that you contact a planning officer for the most up to date information.

Our document, which is reviewed periodically, covers areas/issues such as:

  • Our Key Objectives
  • Definitions e.g. Small and Large turbines, noise sensitive receptors, financial involvement etc
  • Prediction methodology – e.g. model input guidance
  • Background noise monitoring - e.g. agreeing locations prior to survey.
  • Cumulative noise – screening for cumulative noise, using consented levels in the assessment
  • Micro-siting
  • Example Conditions

If you plan to submit a wind turbine planning application, please ensure your acoustic consultant is provided with a copy of this document. “Noise Report - Minimum Information Requirements”. 

If you have any queries, please contact:

Applications with background monitoring (ETSU derived limits)

  • Eimear Branney: 01208 893151
  • Sara Grattan: 01208 893172

Applications with no background monitoring (simplified noise limit)

  • Karen German: 01579 341386
  • Chris Selby: 01209 614338