Do wind turbines affect house prices?
Although property experts have long acknowledged the harmful effect of wind farms on property prices, this has consistently been dismissed by the wind industry as conjecture.
The decisions by the Valuation Office Agency (VOA) to move certain houses close to wind farms into lower council tax bands confirms what residents living close to turbines already know – that wind farms can have a detrimental effect on property prices. In one recent case, a couple saw the value of their home 650 yards from the Fullabrook wind farm near Braunton, Devon, fall from £400,000 to £300,000, according to a local agent's estimate.
The couple, who were not attempting to sell their house, told the VOA that the persistent whooshing noise caused by the turbines and the visual intrusion – including a flickering shadow when the sun is directly behind the blades – made their property less valuable. The VOA accepted their argument and agreed to move the property from council tax band F to band E. (source: Daily Telegraph 22.07.12)
Families living in the seaside Suffolk village of Kessingland have also applied to be put into a lower council tax band as many of their homes are near 400ft turbines. When one resident put her home up for sale last year for £460,000, she found a buyer. But they pulled out when local papers reported that the wind farms were about to be erected and estate agents told her to drop her price, she told the Sunday Times ‘We went down to £360,000 and still could not sell so now we have taken it off the market,’ she said. (source: Daily Mail online 24.07.12).
In 2008 a Valuation Tribunal ruled that a wind farm 930m from Jane Davis’ home near Spalding had reduced the value of the house and that it should be changed it from band B to A. The tribunal commented that “Case law and experience elsewhere had shown that dwellings which were located in close proximity to wind farms had seen their property prices drop by around 20%".
The full ruling is available here.
Can planning permission be granted for a wind turbine that is likely to devalue my property?
There are strict rules governing what the Council may or may not consider when deciding planning applications. The effect of a development on the value of property is not a material planning consideration. The Planning Department therefore cannot take any such devaluation into account when deciding whether or not to grant planning permission.
This rule applies to all councils, not just Swindon Borough Council.
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