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LIKE creatures from The War Of The Worlds they frantically wave their arms across the scenery as if semaphoring to some distant ally. Not only is it impossible to avoid them, placed as they are but their ceaseless movement draws the eye from wherever else it may rest. Nobody with an ounce of respect for the countryside could have permitted their erection.

These were the words as long ago as 1995 of Sir Simon Jenkins, now chairman of the National Trust. He was describing a wind farm perched on the Cemmaes mountain ridge in mid-Wales. Once an “unsullied panorama of British landscape” it had been “defaced” by the construction of 24 giant wind turbines.

Since then great swathes of the UK’s greenest pastures have been ravaged, the landscapes not only assaulted by the alien structures but also by the access roads dug to build and service them.

Rare Red Kites from the Brechfa Forest play Russian roulette flying among the turbines of the Altwallis wind farm north of Carmarthen in Wales. Retired pilot Terry Neil and wife Kathryn live on Lan Farm two thirds of a mile away.

“We moved here in 1997 and found this place at the end of a little valley set in beautiful scenery,” Terry says.

We know that turbines are blots on the landscape – but as we reveal here there are growing concerns that they make people who live near them ill.

“It was a place of great natural beauty and very serene. We moved here for that reason and then they put 10 of these things on the hill above us. We get shadow and flicker from the turbines and Kathryn has migraines she never did before.

There are 10 original turbines and we’re desperately fighting another development of 28. The new ones will be even larger at 426ft high.”

As their case shows it is not just the devastating blight on our countryside caused by the 3,209 wind turbines installed across the UK to date. Our health is also at stake.

Reports from across the world suggest turbines can trigger a range of problems from migraines and disrupted sleep to heart disease, tinnitus, vertigo and panic attacks.

Leading American doctor Nina Pierpont studied symptoms displayed by those living near such turbines in the US, UK, Italy, Ireland and Canada and identified what she dubbed as Wind Turbine Syndrome (WTS).

Rather than the high-frequency sounds produced by wind farms that can be disruptive but are relatively harmless, WTS is triggered by low-frequency sound waves or infrasound, which can cause visceral vibratory vestibular disturbance – abnormal stimulation of parts of the inner ear.

STAND directly beneath the rotating arms of a turbine and the chances are you won’t hear much. But depending on the topography, wind direction and weather conditions, a few hundred feet away it’s a very different story.

One person who knows this better than most is Jane Davis, a retired health visitor and midwife who lived on a farm half a mile from the Deeping St Nicholas wind farm in Lincolnshire. The eight turbines were built in 2006 and within three days of their becoming operational the Davis family noticed a constant hum emanating from them.

“We had issues with various loud noises and low-frequency sounds that created a hum in the house all the time, not just when the turbines were turning,” says Jane.

Within weeks they developed a long list of grave health problems. Jane’s father-in-law John suffered a heart attack and developed tinnitus, hearing loss, vertigo and depression.

Mother-in-law Eileen suffered pneumonia and kidney and bladder problems and husband Julian developed pneumonia, depression and an increased heart rate. All of them suffered from sleep deprivation. None of them had any significant health problems before.

Coincidence? Perhaps, but there have been further scientific studies carried out on the low-frequency sound waves the turbines emit and their possible effects on the body.

American professor Alec Salt, who has conducted extensive research on the effects of amplitude modulation on the inner ear, claims: “The wind industry has taken the position that if you cannot hear the infrasound then it cannot affect you. We disagree strongly. Although subjective hearing is insensitive to infrasound, the ear itself does respond to such sounds. In addition, after long-term exposure it is scientifically plausible that the brain learns that the infrasound represents an external signal and locks in on it. In our view, the possibility that wind turbine noise may have adverse effects on humans cannot be dismissed.”

Wind power companies deny the existence of WTS, saying studies carried out so far are “not robust”.

Jane Davis and her family sued Fenland Windfarms Ltd for noise nuisance in a five-year legal battle she describes as “worse than fighting cancer”.

“We finally got to court last summer. We had three weeks in the High Court and I was eight days on oath and five in the dock,” says Jane. “The case was adjourned so more noise monitoring could be carried out. But the day before the noise evidence was due to be heard, on November 29, 2012, the case was settled out of court.”

This is all Jane can say. In January of this year the family’s house was purchased by Fenland Windfarms Ltd for £125,000, 20 per cent below the valuation given by estate agents. It remains uninhabited.

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