August 28, 2012

Turbine campaign in tax band claim

South Wales Guardian | 28 August 2012

Campaigners opposing the proposed Blaenau wind turbine have claimed they finally have proof the project will have an impact on the value of their homes.

Members of SLAP – The Saron, Llandybie and Penygroes Action Group – believe the Valuation Office Agency (VOA) – the government body responsible for setting council tax bands – has now admitted wind farms can affect the value of nearby properties.

The claim came after a national newspaper reported that at least five properties in theUKhad had their tax bands downgraded due to their proximity to wind farms.

“Recently the government admitted that house values are affected by wind turbines,”

said SLAP chairman Bob Gunstone. “Rebanding has already taken place in areas of the country. The main attraction for this area is the peace, tranquillity and open countryside, however who will want to buy a house next door to a wind turbine?” However, whether homes in Blaenau could be reassessed remains unclear. The properties understood to have undergone VOA re-banding are all believed to be in close proximity to largescale wind farms made up of numerous 400-foot high turbines.

The proposals at Blaenau are for a single 150- foot turbine.

AVOAspokesman said: “If a taxpayer believes the value of their home has been reduced by a substantial physical change to their locality, they may be entitled to make a proposal to alter their band. The proposal will be considered by the VOA, which may or may not result in a band change. If the taxpayer disagrees with the decision of the VOA, there is a right of appeal to an independent valuation tribunal.”

The spokesman added that the agency did not “record the number of occasions where a band challenge is made by a taxpayer due to the proximity of a wind turbine/farm”.

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