Throughout the West Country the windfarm developers flock to the planning departments pursuing the hugely profitable subsidy of the Renewables Obligation without which their gigantic machines could not be built.Many home owners are concerned about the impact on property value and indeed, in 2004, the Royal Institute of Chartered Surveyors (RICS) published a survey of its members throughout the UK which showed 60 per cent of members considered that “windfarms decrease the value of residential properties where the development is within view…” Furthermore “once a windfarm is completed, the negative impact on property values continues but becomes less severe after two years or so after completion.”
Nothing can erase this UK-wide report from the historical record, but there are now claims that a new survey by Oxford Brookes University and RICS shows that windfarms do not impact on property value.
If however, we look carefully at this Oxford Brookes survey, it is based on two small windfarms in Cornwall, of which the turbines are less than 60m tall compared with the present industry standard of 120m and proposals by Gamesa for 180m (600ft) giants in South Wales.
The authors of this new report are more honest than the wind power developers with their warning that “as more windfarms are built, more property will become proximate. Therefore, a cautious approach should be adopted until a larger and more in-depth study can be undertaken.” The wind promoters understandably ignore this “health warning”!
Dr John Etherington
1 May 2007
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