Last update: May 10, 2020

Daily Record February 21, 2017 Scotland

Carrick pensioner forced to give up dog and move to caravan after wind farm hell

“For the past 10 years it has constantly bothered me and never gone away, it sounds like an aircraft landing when the wind picks up.”

Clifton Lockhart says the turbine noise has caused him endless problems. (Photo: Euan McCall/Ayrshire Post)

By Ayrshire Post

Retired farmer Clifton Lockhart, 83, has lived in the house for 35 years but says the noise of the turbines has kept him wide awake.

A pensioner claims he has been forced to give up his dog and relocate to a caravan just to get a decent night’s sleep because he is tormented by the noise from a wind farm opposite his home.

Clifton Lockhart, 83, has lived in Tralodden Cottage near Old Dailly for the past 35 years, but says his golden years have been robbed from him since the turbines arrived 14 years ago and he has since been kept wide awake most nights.

The retired farmer, who is unable to read or write, told the Post he feels “pushed out of his own home” when the noise persists and now rents a caravan in Port William just to get a decent night’s sleep following a decade-long dispute with South Ayrshire Council and SSE wind farm bosses.

At his home, he said: “I have complained to South Ayrshire Council and SSE made a deal about switching the turbines off from 7pm to 10am every day, but that didn’t last long.

I then complained again to South Ayrshire Council that SSE had gone back on the deal, but I have been put through so many loops and the matter is still not resolved.

For the past 10 years it has constantly bothered me and never gone away, it sounds like an aircraft landing when the wind picks up.

I have had to leave my home on many occasions, people have been out to conduct their own tests but nothing has been done, I allowed them to put monitors in my house and garden but nothing changes.

Clifton, who lives alone and uses a walking stick, now feels he will eventually be forced to move from the home he hoped to spend his final days in.

He added: “I had to give up my dog Otter a few years ago to a shelter which broke my heart. He would run off to the turbines and start barking when they were noisy, it was clear he was distressed by them and it just wasn’t fair to hold onto him any more.

I have now came to terms with the fact this noise might not ever stop, I’ve already had to alter so much of my life quality because of these turbines, and I am concerned that I may have to pack up my life here and move.

It has been so stressful and I feel I am being forced out of my own home.

Responding to the situation, Mike Newall, head of neighbourhood Services at South Ayrshire Council said: “We carried out a detailed investigation last year following a complaint about noise nuisance from a nearby wind farm.

Our investigation confirmed his concerns about the nuisance and we issued a noise abatement notice in February 2016.

The windfarm operator took action to address the noise concerns by reducing the operating hours of the wind turbines nearest to the home and we have carried out further testing.

This found there was no longer any noise nuisance from the windfarm.

Despite ongoing complaints and more testing – including a recent visit to the property – we have been unable to establish that there is any further noise nuisance from the wind farm.

We understand that the wind farm operator also offered to install testing equipment inside the property – which we fully supported – but the home owner turned down this offer.

We have kept the home owner informed throughout our investigation and made it clear that we can’t take any further action unless a statutory noise nuisance is identified and that hasn’t been the case since February last year.

A spokesperson for SSE added: “Extensive noise monitoring was undertaken following complaints from the residents of Tralodden Cottage.

The results, which were shared with Mr Lockhart’s solicitor, showed there was a noise level issue in some specific wind speed and direction scenarios.

Temporary mitigation was applied while long term solutions were identified and implemented.

Both the council and the residents have been made aware of this and SSE continues to monitor the position and the company will respond positively should there be any further complaints or concerns raised.