Wind turbines devalue adjoining properties by as much as 60 per cent, according to an independent land valuer’s report issued this week.
It found offers by some wind farm developers to compensate landowners within two kilometres of turbines appeared to support this finding too.
Goulburn real estate consultant and registered valuer Peter Reardon made the findings after being commissioned by farmer Paul Vallely, a member of the Community Consultative Committee for the Golspie Wind Farm development.
Previous reports on the impact of turbines on property values, including a report for the NSW Valuer General, have concluded there was no evidence rural land holdings were impaired by wind turbine development.
However Mr Reardon’s report said previous studies had been inconclusive because of the relative new age of wind infrastructure.
Mr Reardon surveyed a number of real estate agents in the region and found most of them believed location and proximity to wind turbines significantly devalued the marketability of rural land holdings. Buyers were losing interest and sellers needed to extend sale periods on affected listings.
The study looked at the sales figures of three affected properties and four or five comparable land sales. It found one property sold for a 33 per cent loss compared to its counterparts, another for a 60 per cent loss and the third property remained stable with no change in value.
“The detrimental impact upon adjoining and nearby land-holders appears to be beginning to be acknowledged by a number of wind turbine proponents,” the report said.
“A noteable example of this is developers in the Boorowa/Rugby region. Enquiries have detailed that compensation deals are being offered to adjoining and nearby land holders who have a residence within two kilometres of wind turbines.”
Deals struck so far are typically $2500 per annum for each turbine located within two kilometres, indexed for the life of the development.
It is similar to agreements between landowners who host turbines on their farms, the report said.
Hume MP Angus Taylor said the study showed a clear case for wind farm developers to compensate landowners and local communities.
“The study shows potentially dramatic negative impacts on the value of property located near wind farms,” Mr Taylor said.
“Agents have been forced to brand some properties as virtually unsaleable, in other instances agreed sales have failed to proceed after the purchasers have become aware of local wind farm plans.
“This is a clear case for compensation to the non-host landowners. These losses in real estate value completely overwhelm the small amounts of financial assistance being offered by developers to local communities living near the turbines.”
There are 12 homes situated within a two kilometre radius of Epuron’s Yass Valley and Conroys Gap wind farms.
Within a five kilometre distance, there were 95 and 31 respectively, according to Epuron’s Community Consultation Committee September minutes.
A spokesman for Epuron was unavailable to comment on whether these landowners would be offered compensation.*****
But an opponent to wind farms in our area, Mike Inkster, believes wind developers were compensating non-host landowners for reasons other than property devaluation. He said they were making the offers merely as a way to get around state guidelines which require turbines to be more than two kilometres from residences unless written consent is given.
“It’s a business proposition,” he said.
“I’m not sure property devaluation is why they are doing it – I don’t believe they care. They aren’t in it for the community, they are in it to make money.”
The Reardon report can be found online http://docs.wind-watch.org/Reardon_Impact-of-Wind-Farm-Development-on-Land-Values_2013.pdf
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