A windfarm developer which distributed leaflets suggesting turbines have a “positive effect” on house prices has been censured by watchdogs.
The complaint against Mold firm West Coast Energy was upheld by the Advertising Standards Authority, which told the company the leaflet should not appear again in its current form.
West Coast Energy, which has a windfarm application for three turbines at Bryn Eryr Uchaf, Menai Bridge, listed for deferral at tomorrow’s meeting of Anglesey planning committee, said the leaflets have been destroyed.
The leaflet, distributed by West Coast Energy at an event in Scotland in September, saidasked: “Do windfarms reduce nearby house prices?”
The leaflet added: “Estate agents in the case study areas analysed reported there were generally other factors that had a more significant effect on property prices than a windfarm nearby.” It also stated: “They [USA’s Renewable Energy Policy Project] … concluded that there was no evidence to suggest wind turbines within a five mile radius of a property had a negative impact on value. In fact property values appeared to rise above the regional average within the case study locations, suggesting turbines actually have a positive effect on value.”
The ASA says West Coast Energy said the claims were taken from a research paper by the Royal Institute of Chartered Surveyors (RICS).
However, the ASA said a US study to which the leaflet referred was not provided and that “no evidence was supplied to demonstrate that the quoted US findings were applicable to the relationship between windfarms and house prices in the UK in 2013… The RICS research was published in 2007 based on data from 2000 onwards, but evidence was not supplied to demonstrate the housing market was responding in the same way in 2013.”
A spokesman for West Coast Energy said: “This was a simple mistake of utilising old leaflets for display purposes. We have acknowledged this error and accepted the adjudication.”
Paul Madden of Anglesey Against Wind Turbines said: “The industry denies turbines affect house prices or sales. But who would choose a rural home next door to a towering industrial structure?”