People who live in sight of a wind farm could find it will cost them dear when it comes to reselling their homes – with a study showing they could lose up to 11% on the sale price.
Research on prices of one million homes over 12 years in England and Wales by the London School of Economics showed noise and visual disturbance caused by wind turbines had forced down values.
Such price cuts are already known in France where a couple in Maine-et-Loire won a 2010 court case and €18,000 compensation after suing the former owner of their house for not telling them of a wind farm plan.
The Angers court said a wind farm would devalue their property by 10%.
The LSE study said homes within 2km of a new wind farm with more than 20 turbines would lose 11% of their value on resale. At 4km distance they lost 3%.
Smaller wind farms averaging 11 turbines had lesser but still costly, effects, with properties within 2km losing 5-6% of their value. Even properties as far as 14km from a wind farm, if still within sight, lost 1%.
Jean-Louis Butré, of windfarm protest group Fédération Environnement Durable said they had tried for years to warn councils and notaires about having windfarms near property.
“We have proof prices have fallen and regularly get complaints from British and Dutch owners who have bought a house and only later found a windfarm is being built nearby, perhaps in a neighbouring commune.
“We’re overwhelmed by complaints but the authorities are not interested. They just want to get the money windfarms bring in.”
He said the problem even goes across borders with a windfarm near the 15th century Château de Malbrouck in Lorraine – the site is just 1km from the fort but in Germany and the 200m wind turbines will be clearly visible.
Sonia Lioret of France Energie Eolienne promotion group said the study was not strictly applicable in France as people had a “very different” attitude.
Research showed varied results on house values.
A 2010 study showed 67% of people were willing to have a windfarm within 1km of their homes – and 80% would have one in their department.
“In some deprived areas with no economic activity the arrival of a windfarm gives income that spurs other developments and give fiscal revenues for the commune, sometimes large revenues.” she added.
France has 4,500 wind turbines, producing 7.6GW of power at peak output. Around 500 are being erected each year, mostly at sea.
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