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Wind farms ‘can wipe one-third off house prices’, MP claims  

Credit:  By Emily Gosden, Energy Editor | The Telegraph | 20 Dec 2013 | www.telegraph.co.uk ~~

Wind farms knock as much as one third off the value of nearby homes, an MP has claimed.

Geoffrey Cox, Conservative MP for West Devon and Torridge, said constituents had been told by estate agents their homes were worth “significantly less” due to turbines being built in the vicinity and that it was an “injustice” that they lose out while developers and land owners potentially pocket millions.

“An increasing number of people are coming to me with clear evidence that the value of their home is significantly less than what it otherwise would be were the wind farm not there.

“I’m seeing a minimum 10 per cent to 15 per cent reduction,” he said.

“Some are seeing a loss of one-third of the value. How can that be fair?

How can it be right that landowners and developers are making millions of pounds, while the ordinary household is losing the value of what is their pension, or nest egg in old age.”

Renewable UK, which represents the wind industry, denied the claims, insisting that house prices are not affected by wind farms.

“The wind industry doesn’t accept that there is any reliable independent academic evidence to suggest that wind farms have any effect on house prices,” a spokesman said.

“The most recent study was done by the Royal Institute of Chartered Surveyors and that study was inconclusive. The Royal Institute now says there is no definitive answer to this question.”

He added that communities living near wind farms were paid “large sums of money”, which were this year increased from £1,000 a year for every megawatt (MW) of wind power capacity, to £5,000 a year.

A typical turbine might have a 2MW capacity, meaning a community near a 12-turbine wind farm could receive £120,000 a year.

Because these payments were used to improve infrastructure, this would “help to maintain the value of house prices in an area”, he said.

Property experts have previously claimed that turbines, which campaigners say are a blight on the British landscape, can reduce the value of homes by up to eight per cent.

In August, the Telegraph revealed that a secret report into the impact of wind farms on rural house prices was being blocked by officials at the Department of Energy and Climate Change (DECC) amid fears it will conclude that turbines harm property prices.

Ed Davey, the Liberal Democrat energy secretary, had denied that anyone in his department is trying to suppress the report.

Meanwhile, Planning Minister Nick Boles has proposed direct compensation for lost property value due to infrastructure developments such as power projects.

He said he was considering a pilot scheme to look at “wherher people who have properties very close to a substantial development might benefit from some form of compensation for the loss of property value”.

A similar scheme is used in the Netherlands, he said.

Mr Cox said the scheme should be implemented and used to compensate people living near wind farms.

“I would completely support households having to be paid compensation for the depreciation of their house value as a result of wind turbines,” he said.

“It is simple nonsense for the pro-wind lobby to say they have no effect on house prices.”

[rest of article available at source]

Source:  By Emily Gosden, Energy Editor | The Telegraph | 20 Dec 2013 | www.telegraph.co.uk

This article is the work of the source indicated. Any opinions expressed in it are not necessarily those of National Wind Watch.

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