A couple have won their fight to lower the council tax banding on their property, which dropped in value after wind turbines were built nearby.
Julian and Jane Davis, along with their daughter Emily, had to endure endless sleepless nights after a wind farm, with turbines 100 metres high, was built less than 900 metres away from their home.
In May 2007, the family abandoned their Deeping St Nicholas home and rented a property in Spalding five miles away.
However, the house became un-sellable because of the problems created by the turbines.
And now the couple have won a landmark legal ruling to see their council tax bill reduced to take into account the tumbling house price caused by the turbines.
Today, Mrs Davis said: “We are absolutely delighted. At last, there is recognition of what we have always known that wind farms inappropriately sited can materially affect the value of your property.
“This opens the doors for others in a similar position to apply for a similar rebanding of their property.
“Not every wind farm causes problems, but at the moment, the science is not good enough.”
She added that they didn’t want to sell their home and would like to return.
But they are forced to live “in exile” because the noise leaves them unable to get to sleep.
The couple bought the house from Lincolnshire County Council in 1996, 10 years before the wind farm was built.
If the wind direction is directly behind the row of turbines behind their house they say a phenomenon known as aerodynamic modulation would take hold, amplifying the existing noise and low frequency vibration and causing sleepless nights.
The couple documented their wind turbine nightmare and sent evidence to the House of Lords Economic Affairs Committee, which is investigating the economics of renewable energy.
In their submission, the couple blame the wind energy industry for creating a barrier to the greater use of green power.
They said: “The behaviour of the wind energy industry, whose tactics are to succeed at any price, promotes the impression that there is something unsavoury about wind farms in the first place.
“Therefore, in our view, the wind energy industry has only itself to blame.
Today, an anti-wind farm campaign group has called for the Government to stop building the turbines in-land.
Chairman of Fenland Against Rural Turbines Paul Potts said that the legal ruling showed there were serious problems with the farms.
He said: “This is an indictment that shows there is a problem with these inefficient machines.
“This is the beginning of the realisation that wind turbines are not as effective or give the value for money that was first expected.
“The building of new turbines should now cease and the money used to find better ways of producing green energy.”
Mr Potts said that more research into “evopods” – off-shore machines that use the power of the sea’s tide to create green energy – should be carried out as a viable alternative to wind turbines.
By Stephen Briggs
29 July 2008
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