Well-designed and well-sited modern wind turbines can be quiet enough to cause no disturbance to people living only a few hundred metres away from them.
Indeed, it is important that any wind farm development does not have a negative impact on the amenity of local residents and it is common for any successful planning application to have a noise-related planning condition attached to it.
Wind farm developers and local authorities follow stringent guidelines with regard to wind turbines and noise levels. These guidelines, The Assessment and Rating of Noise from Wind Farms, were developed in 1996 by ETSU for the DTi.
In 2007 the Department for Business Enterprise and Regulatory Reform (BERR) confirmed that local planning authorities should continue using the ETSU guidelines and not consent proposals which breach the stated noise limits.
The Department of Energy and Climate Change (DECC) website provides a detailed overview on onshore wind turbines and noise.
A noise study is included as part of the Environmental Impact Assessment submitted as part of the planning application. This study identifies the nearest dwellings and predicts potential noise levels at these locations. Background noise information is normally gathered so that a thorough noise assessment can be carried out.
RenewableUK (formerly the British Wind Energy Association) has produced a fact sheet on noise, ‘Noise from Wind Turbines - The Facts’.
The best way to find out about what it is like to be near to a wind turbine is to visit one.
Find out where wind turbines are located in the UK.