THE developer behind the Den Brook wind farm development has lodged an application to vary a noise condition.

Renewable Energy Systems is seeking to vary a planning condition relating to noise for its wind farm site at Den Brook, between Spreyton and North Tawton. It has now formally lodged its application with West Devon Borough Council.

The plans for nine 120-metre turbines at the site were originally submitted in 2005 by RES. The Den Brook Judicial Review Group and local residents had expressed concerns that such a scheme would create noise pollution from generators and the swishing of turbines, disturbing the rural peace. It claims the latest move is more about 'corporate welfare' than community well-being.

The plans went through a public inquiry twice, but following a lengthy legal battle they were given the green light by appeal court judges in 2011.

The existing noise condition was originally imposed on the development as part of the planning permission greenlit by the court of appeal, and applies to a particular type of noise called amplitude modulation (AM), colloquially known as 'blade swoosh'.

RES have expressed concerns that the condition does not accurately reflect the noise created by turbines, as following several months of monitoring background noise at other wind farms and locations, they claim that AM can be present even at locations where there are no turbines.

Dan Leahy, RES project manager, said: 'We were very concerned when we discovered that the noise condition wasn't working properly.

'Like everyone else, we want a robust and reliable means of measuring AM at Den Brook Wind Farm. Working with a number of noise experts, we believe we have pinpointed the problem and we know how to fix it. However, we have to follow due process and ask the council's permission to vary the condition, which is why we have lodged this application.'

The Den Brook Judicial Review Group feels the application's primary intent is 'protecting corporate welfare rather than the well-being of local communities' surrounding the site.

In a statement, the DBJRG said: 'It must be remembered that a top Government planning inspector deemed the current noise controls essential for reaching his decision to finally approve the huge industrial scale wind development more than three years ago.    

'Significantly and perhaps surprisingly for those who have visited relatively quiet wind turbines during the day, this often debilitating, pulsating EAM noise generally occurs during night times when adequate recuperation with rest and undisturbed sleep is obviously fundamental for good health and well-being.'

The group said that concerns aside, it had to believe and trust that the elected local representatives with their 'vast experience of diverse planning applications', would protect the best interests of fellow citizens.

The application number is 00393/2013.  It can be viewed by putting the number into West Devon Borough Council's online planning search

Alternatively, a copy is available to view at the Okehampton Customer Services Centre in St James Street. The consultation deadline is May 16.

Anyone wishing to make a comment can use the automated response form on the website or e-mail [email protected]">[email protected] or write to West Devon Borough Council, Kilworthy Park, Drake Road, Tavistock, Devon, PL19 0BZ including the application number.