People living near a site earmarked for a wind farm near Stone say their properties have plummeted in value since the scheme became public.
Householders living near to Aston Hall Farm between Aston and Burston say a proposal to install three turbines on the land by Severn Trent Water has already blighted property prices.
Homeowner Rob Jackson, whose Enson Lane home is 520 metres away from the site of a proposed turbine, said the value of his house had dropped by between 20 and 30 per cent since he had it valued back in January.
He explained: “I had a valuation done at the start of the year, before anyone knew anything about Severn Trent’s plans. Last week, an estate agent gave me an opinion and said that the indications are that the property’s value had fallen by 20 – 30 per cent since then, which is very scary.
“It is devastating because planning authorities do not take property prices into consideration, but while these plans are hanging over us, people do not want to buy properties in the area so it means our options would be dramatically reduced if we wanted to move. People who have recently bought houses in the area will be left with negative equity. House prices can be blighted for up to five years.”;
Alistair Howells, of Aston Lane, spoke out on the issue at a packed meeting about the proposals in Salt Village Hall on Monday. He said he believed the value of his home had fallen by 23 per cent because of the scheme. Speaking to the Newsletter afterwards, he said he bought his home from Severn Trent Water just over four years ago and now feels cheated.
He said: “I bought a barn building from Severn Trent Water and I took nine months doing it up. I am just 700 metres away from the wind farm site so obviously it affect the value of my home dramatically.”;
Councillor Frances Beatty, who is ward member for Chartley and chairman of the planning and regenration scrutiny committee, said estate agents FPD Savills had published a report saying that property prices adjacent to wind farms would fall by between 30 – 50 per cent. However, FPD Savills denied they had produced the report.
One local estate agent said he thought property prices would fall by around 10 per cent because of the wind farm proposals.
Stone MP Bill Cash, who attended the meeting, said wind turbines were inefficient and Severn Trent Water was submitting the plans was to make money from the site.
He said: “For a single 2MW wind turbine operating at 30 per cent load there is an annual subsidy for the owner of £235,000.” He said the money being invested into wind energy should be spent on developing clean coal technology.
Stafford MP David Kidney spoke of the need for more renewable energy schemes due to the threat of climate change and the instability of fossil fuel sources.
This week, Severn Trent Water submitted a plan for a 60 metre wind monitoring mast at Aston Hall Farm to Stafford Borough Council. Councillor Doug Davis will be calling in the application.
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