Wind farm

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Common sense says :-

If you paid a premium to live in a quiet rural location would you pay the same if was near industrial wind turbines? Common sense says no.

Denmark has a compensation scheme for home owners who suffer a loss of property value caused by turbines. There would be no such scheme if there wasn’t a problem.

It is well known that property values are reduced by electricity pylons. If pylons reduce property values then so will turbines of similar or greater height.

A sale near Woodlane fell through when purchasers found out about the wind farm proposal. An Estate Agent advised a resident to expect a 20% fall if the wind farm was approved. Buyers seeking a home in the country will avoid turbines.

The British Wind Energy Association ( BWEA) says it is a myth that “Wind farms reduce house prices” in their facts sheet issued September 2009. Read the facts sheet carefully and then the studies they refer to and reach your own conclusion.

In order to meet Government targets for wind power the turbines will have to be built ever closer to homes. It is in the interest of the Government to support the argument  that wind turbines do not reduce property prices.  

Link to case studies from around the world

Its not just in the UK where this is a problem, there are similar reports from the USA, Canada and New Zealand.

Link to the surveys - wind farms & house prices

Welcome to the world of inconsistency - while estate agents say the main price determinant is - “Location, location, location” these reports say a view of turbines does not matter.

In one of the early studies 60% of estate agents interviewed said house prices were reduced by proximity to a wind farm. This was their opinion.

More recent research was based on actual sale price - and so it excludes homes which didn’t sell due to turbines or which were taken off the market due to lack of interest.

Studies using actual sale price might include properties out to 10 miles , which are unlikely to be affected. The more distant homes dominate the data so any effect on price of homes very close to turbines will be masked - and in any case they are not likely to be included in the data because they are unlikely to find a buyer.

Woodlane - £1 million loss for villagers

An Estate Agent advised one resident close to Woodlane to expect a 20% drop in value if the wind farm was approved.

Looking at the four villages and assuming that there are 10 homes with a value of £500k and that these might lose 10%, 20 homes worth £300k and that these might lose 7% plus 20 worth £200k and that these might lose 5% the total loss of equity value would be over £1M.

This is an underestimate of the number of homes and some of them are worth over £500k so the loss could be much higher.

While the percentage drop may be open to question (it could be an underestimate) the potential loss to a small community is very large. Even if the percentage is small it soon mounts up across a community.

It is not surprising that there is reluctance by the Government and the wind industry to accept that a problem exists. Compensation costs could and should run into millions.

The Impact on property values.

A 100m turbine 820m from the houses.

A worldwide problem

A review of information from the USA - click here.

More information

Case studies - Examples of losses

The main surveys and how they are misquoted

A detailed look at the Crystal Rig study.

House prices and Planning

While the value of property is a big concern of homeowners it is not a planning consideration. Planners will not take it into account when deciding whether to approve a wind farm.

Expect the worst impact closer than 5km

A wind turbines is described in Planning literature as “Likely to be a prominent feature” when closer than 2km. Out to 5km they are expected to be “Relatively prominent” according to planning guidance. Any studies of the impact on house prices should therefore concentrate on distances less than 5km.

Pay greatest attention to homes closer than 2km

If property sales out to 10km are studied then only 4% of them would be closer than 2km. 75% would be more than 5km away. If the study looks at average prices out to 10km the impact on homes closer than 2km will not show up.  

Watch the market

Watch the market and see how well houses in your area sell. See if they are withdrawn from sale and rented out.

Listen for reports of sales falling through because buyer found out about the wind farm and decided to go elsewhere.

These are all symptoms, you should watch for them.

Crystal Rig survey - Shows no effect on property values 7 miles from turbines - study has no data for homes closer than a mile - Click here  

With the turbines 7 miles away and not visible you wouldn’t expect any effect, so why bother doing the study?

The concern around Woodlane is about homes nearer than a mile, especially the home with 10 turbines closer than 1 mile.

Next - Case studies

Further information