A family say plans for a wind farm near their idyllic home have slashed its value.
Boyd and Sally Sneddon of Tigh na Bhan, Glenbarr, on the Kintyre peninsula have been desperately trying to sell their picture-perfect four bedroom detached house for more than 18 months. The house was valued at £265,000 but the couple say hopes of selling it for that price have been dashed by plans for 19 monstrous turbines on their doorstep. Instead they are now being advised they might get as little as £200,000.
Their Council, Argyll and Bute, is considering plans from renewable firm Burcote Wind to build the 125 metre turbines close to the family home.
The UK’s Environment Secretary, Owen Paterson, recently commissioned a consultancy to investigate whether renewable technologies were lowering house prices in the countryside. But in August it was reported the document, due to be published soon, was being blocked by the Department of Energy and Climate Change (DECC) amid fears it will conclude turbines do harm property prices.
Last night, dad-of-three Boyd said they were trapped in their home. He claimed two estate agents had already failed to sell the home and two potential buyers had even written to them to say they wouldn’t move anywhere near turbines. The couple, who have lived at the house for five years, had planned to move to Ayrshire.
“It’s been a nightmare,” said Boyd, 52, owner of a take-away food shop. “It’s like the village of the damned. We live in one of the most beautiful spots in the world with views over Jura and beyond. It’s so gorgeous passers-by often ask if they can buy the house. But they lose interest when they find out about the turbines. The house has been taken off the market and it has cost me £1,500 in estate agent fees and a home survey.”
Burcote Wind originally applied for 23 turbines but cut the number to 19 amid local opposition.
Boyd added: “I feel helpless. A company should not be able to come into an area and make your property impossible to sell.”
A spokesman for Burcote said: “We made changes to the wind farm proposal and worked with the community to reduce turbines from 23 to 19. “The nearest turbine is now 1.8km from the edge of Glenbarr village. “The Advertising Standards Agency evidence on the link between wind farms and property prices remains inconclusive. The willingness to live next door to a wind farm is personal to each individual and we understand neighbours concern at our proposals. Our proposals are accompanied by a £7.8 million community benefit fund to deliver investment in local employment opportunities, economic development and community facilities.”
Byd Sneddon added: “The village does not need £7.8 million investment. We just want to retain its natural beauty.”
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