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Έγγραφα > Noise, health > A legal opinion on nuisance from wind turbines, from the UK

A legal opinion on nuisance from wind turbines, from the UK

(our emphasis in red)

« It would, we argue, be uncontentious that should a wind turbine start to throw ice on neighbouring properties (which has occurred with one of our clients), regardless of compliance with a planning permission, that operation would no longer be lawful. The same principles apply with noise. If that noise is beyond “what objectively a normal person would find it reasonable to have to put up with” a nuisance exists.

This is entirely supported by Lord Hoffmann's comments in Transco Plc v Stockport MBC,8 reinforced by Carnwath L.J. at [ 97] of Barr v Biffa. Lord Hoffmann said of common law nuisance in Transco at [ 26] :

* J.P.L. 8 9 5 “ Liability in nuisance is strict in the sense that one has no right to carry on an activity which unreasonably interferes with a neighbour's use of land merely because one is doing it with reasonable care. If it cannot be done without causing unreasonable interference, it cannot be done at all.” »


« Further, if a sacrifice is to be made, then there should be compensation for the person making the sacrifice. At the moment, it is “ win-win” for the developer and landowner due to large public subsidies for onshore wind turbines; but “lose- lose” for a resident who has been asked to sacrifice their amenity and the value of their property without any compensation. Contrast wind turbines with road or airport developments, where the land compensation regime provides compensation for land that is depreciated by physical factors caused by public works, with any dispute about compensation being referred to the Lands Tribunal. »


« To assess whether there is nuisance, one needs to experience the noise on the ground and at the correct time of day. It is not sufficient, as in our experience often occurs, for local authorities and developers to make a site visit to a wind farm at 10 am with a northerly wind direction, if the nuisance is generally experienced at 4 am in a westerly direction. »

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