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My house dropped £100,000 in value because of wind farm

Christopher Fiddes hoped his lovingly restored Georgian home would be a nest egg for his daughter.

But the 78-year-old artist was shocked to discover that permission for a wind farm just 500 yards from his doorstep has knocked £100,000 off its value.

An energy company was granted approval for five turbines up to 400ft tall on appeal – after the local council rejected the plan.

Mr Fiddes moved into the converted farmhouse near the village of Watford, Northamptonshire, with his late wife Jane 20 years ago, and now lives there with his daughter Cordelia, 16.

After fully renovating the property, he asked estate agents for a valuation. He was horrified when they told him that since the wind farm was approved eight months ago, his home has plummeted in value from £400,000 to £300,000.

Mr Fiddes said: ‘At my age I shall die when my daughter is still relatively young, perhaps before she has met somebody and fallen in love, or goes to university.

‘All I have to leave to her is this house so it seems particularly harsh. I’m worried for her future.’

The value of thousands of properties near wind farms is feared to be at risk as the number of onshore turbines nears 4,000 and is set to more than double in the coming years.

Environment Secretary Owen Paterson, who is sceptical about wind farms, has commissioned an official report into the impact of green energy on rural areas – reportedly against the wishes of LibDem energy secretary Ed Davey.

The application for the wind farm near Mr Fiddes was made by green energy firm Volkswind in 2009 and rejected by Daventry District Council. But the firm appealed to the local Planning Inspectorate and was given the go-ahead last December.

Mr Fiddes has corresponded with the Planning Inspectorate and the Department of Energy and Climate Change about his house price but said the replies he received were ‘a sop’.

He said: ‘The inspector decided it could go ahead in the national interest, irrespective of it being very much against the wishes of the local residents.

‘DECC seem to be in denial about the impact on homes and about the noise impact.

‘To meet our 2020 targets an area of rural Britain the size of Wales would have to be covered in wind farms. Is that how we want our landscape to look?

‘Britain earns a hell of a lot of its income from tourism so blighting the landscapes of Shakespeare and Constable in this way is really not viable for an island this size. It will ruin our precious land forever.’

Last year the government’s Valuation Office Agency admitted wind farms can wipe tens of thousands of pounds off the value of homes, saying it had been forced to re-band homes into lower council tax categories as a result.

Mr Fiddes’ local MP, Tory Chris Heaton-Harris said: ‘Wind farms definitely affect house prices and I would expect there to be billions of pounds of planning blight because of turbines close to properties.’