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Setback distance regulations

Wind turbines’ setback distances from residential areas are one of the most important measure for reducing visual impacts, noise pollution, shadow flicker effects.

Setback distances are usually identified as a function of acceptable visual impacts. and in some cases of acceptable noise level.  

They can be established in the planning phase, during the permitting/authorization process, and may be part of the Environmental Impact Assessments (EIA, 2011/92/EU), in which case they are legally binding.

Transparent setback distances may also be an effective measure to mitigate concerns about Nature and biodiversity protection; i.e. impacts on local flora and fauna.

The WinWind project analysed regulations and/or recommendations covering different issues: residential setback distances; protected areas and forests; noise and shadow flicker mitigation.

In Germany, Italy, Latvia, Poland, and Spain, regulations and guidelines vary considerably either as far as their binding force is concerned (prescriptive /discretionary) either for the territorial level of   the competent authority (national / regional / local ).

Find out more

The WinWind project analysed the environmental regulations of the partners’ countries. Here below further readings.

On regulation frameworks in the six countries partner (technical aspects)
Screening of Technical and Non-Technical regulations, guidelines and recommendations pages 6-29

Community acceptance and setback distances
LINK: Deliverable 2.1