WIND TURBINE NOISE IMPACTS ORDINARY PERSONS
IN THE SUPREME COURT OF VICTORIA AT MELBOURNE
COMMON LAW DIVISION
MAJOR TORTS LIST
No. S ECI 2020 00471
B E T W E E N
NOEL UREN and another
BALD HILLS WIND FARM PTY LTD
Filed on: 08/10/2021
3. John Zakula is now in his seventh year of enduring the nuisance. The noise is so bad for him that he has bricked in his bedroom window and takes to sleeping in his car when he just cannot endure another night of sleeplessness. Mr Zakula — a qualified engineer — has meticulously logged the noise disturbances from the wind turbines year after year. But no matter how many letters he sent reporting the noise and deaf to the messages Mr Zakula left on the Defendant’s phone hotline complaining of the noise, the Defendant has not curtailed a single turbine in response to Mr Zakula’s particular complaints. Nor has it repaired the faulty gearboxes which affected its turbines, despite knowing of tonality defects for years and years.
10. …..First, there is evidence that nineteen neighbours were affected in a similar fashion to the Plaintiffs2 (Contrary to the Defendant’s Submissions,3 Mr Soler was one of the persons whose ability to sleep was affected.) Seven of those neighbours gave evidence in the proceeding. They presented as witnesses of ordinary fortitude. It was not put to them that they were hypersensitive. Save in the case of Mr Jelbart 4 it was not even put to them that their opposition to the wind farm might have affected their perception of the noise. On the balance of probabilities, it should be accepted that the seven neighbours’ evidence illustrated the effect of the wind farm noise on ordinary people. It is clear from the Plaintiffs’ lay witnesses and the complaints in the Defendants’ records that the Defendant’s turbines tend to be so noisy that they annoy neighbours during the day and frequently wake them up at night, particularly in cooler weather.
(Extracts and bold for emphasis)