Ireland: Landmark Wind Turbine Noise Ruling

By Caroline O’Doherty for Irish Independent on March 15, 2024

The attorney general is studying a landmark High Court ruling on noise from wind turbines that could have implications for the operation of existing and future wind farms.

Officials from two Government departments, Housing and Environment, have joined the chief law officer in examining the judgement. Wind Energy Ireland, which represents most wind farm owners in the country, also has experts scrutinising it. The ruling found that turbine noise – even if within planning regulation limits – could be categorised as a nuisance. That opens the possibility of compensation claims by people who say noise from turbines interferes with the enjoyment of their homes and daily lives.

In the case that gave rise to the ruling, nuisance was proven by two couples who lived close to a wind farm in Co Wexford. The case heard they were constantly stressed and sleepless, that one of the couples split up largely because of it and one party was left suicidal and remained under treatment for depression.

High Court judge Ms Justice Emily Egan found they had established their right to receive damages from the company involved. “This is wind turbine noise that an objectively reasonable person should not be expected to tolerate,” she said. A second part of their case will consider the level of damages due and, significantly, whether an injunction should be granted against the wind farm. If an injunction is granted, it may come in the form of restrictions on operating hours rather than a complete stop to operations.

Read the full story here.

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Wind Concerns is a collaboration of citizens of the Lakeland Alberta region against proposed wind turbine projects.

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