Campaigners against wind farms are celebrating a landmark tribunal case involving a Deeping St Nicholas family which ruled that thousands could be knocked off the value of houses close to turbines.
Jane and Julian Davis, of North Drove Bank, will have their council tax band reduced from B to A because noise pollution from a wind farm 930m away has reduced the value of their home.
The ruling set a precedent during a time when the Government is pushing ahead to build more turbines across the country and it will be an important part of the case made by campaigners against the Neslam Wind Farm at Sempringham Fen.
Mrs Davis detailed her wind turbine nightmare to the tribunal, providing audio evidence of the noise pollution and written evidence from estate agents Munton and Russell, who said they would decline to market her property until the wind farm problems were resolved.
Her family suffered severe sleep deprivation and were forced to move out to a rented house in Spalding.
She said: “This result is excellent for everybody who has had their lives devastated by noise, both audible and low frequency, from wind farms.
“I think it’s a very fair result and the tribunal was well aware it was being asked to make a national precedent.
“This is one battle won but there’s still the rest of the war to go.”
Debbie Wren, chairman of AGAST (Action Group Against Sempringham Turbines) lives in Pointon Fen – around 600m from the proposed Neslam Wind Farm site.
She said: “Until now everybody has chosen to put their heads in the sand and say that they won’t affect house prices but this is proof they will.
“The thing that riles me is that all the green do-gooders are ramming their argument down our throats but a family like Jane and Julian have been left hung out to dry and that’s not right.
“It’s not that people don’t understand the need to secure energy but there are better ways of doing it.”
The Sempringham Fen site should feature six 120m tall turbines and Graham Hoyle, of Gosberton Clough, said it will alter the landscape for people up to 5km away in Donington, Quadring and Gosberton.
He slammed the way sites are selected and called for a consultation process similar to last year’s traveller site process to identify the best locations for wind farms.
He said: “I don’t see why in this area we can’t have them at least 2km from people.”
Scottish Power, who are in charge of the Neslam project, says the Davis’ case is unique and that they will work to ensure that a similar situation does not occur at the site in Sempringham Fen.
# Council tax for a band B property in Deeping St Nicholas in 2008/09 is £1,104.51 and in band A it is £946.72, which is £157.79 less.
Lincolnshire Free Press
28 July 2008
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