The first survey into how much Ringmer residents can hear the Glyndebourne wind turbine has been released – with suspicions raised that some people may be hearing something else.
Ringmer Liberal Democrats have been surveying parts of the village, asking questions on local issues, of which noise from the wind turbine is likely to be the most contentious.
The results make it clear that those living at the southern edge of Ringmer can hear it, but for some it is only in their garden and not in their house, and to many it is not a disturbance.
Ringmer district councillor Chris Bowers said: “Ringmer Lib Dems were united in promising that if the turbine was erected, we would keep tabs on whether any of the concerns expressed in advance proved to be justified.
“That’s why we were keen to ask the question about the noise, but to differentiate between people hearing it and being disturbed by it, and whether it was just in their garden or in their house as well.
“We surveyed more than seven per cent of the households in Ringmer. We concentrated our efforts where the data is most revealing, for example knocking on every door in Sadlers Way, every one in Shepherds Way, and large swathes of Christie Avenue, Delves Way, Delves Close and Broyle Lane.”
Of the 20 responses from Sadlers Way, one of the closest roads to the turbine, five people said they found the noise disturbing but 13 did not hear the turbine at all and another two said they had heard the noise but did not find it disturbing. A little further away in Shepherds Way, two out of 12 respondents said they had been disturbed. Further still, such as the Christie/Delves area or the Broyle area, there were no reported cases of hearing the turbine.
Ringmer’s other Lib Dem district councillor Peter Gardiner said: “Before it was erected, I was repeatedly assured that the turbine would not be audible, so I am concerned about people saying they can hear it or are disturbed by it. People hear things differently, so what is inoffensive background noise to one person could well be disturbing to another, but we need to be sure it is the turbine people are hearing.
“One respondent said she could hear a humming noise, but knew it wasn’t the turbine and wondered if it was milking sessions at Gote Farm. Another told me they can hear the Lewes Road electricity substation overnight, and this may be the continuous noise some others are hearing.
“The turbine has no gearbox or gearing, so any continuous mechanical noise reported is not the turbine. I have heard the turbine blades on three quiet mornings and one afternoon in my garden, and understand others closer than I am hear it more often, with one resident saying she feels she can’t sit in her garden in summer.”