DO WIND FARMS AFFECT PROPERTY PRICES?
There is no definitive answer as to whether wind farms affect property prices. There have been some recent studies, most notably by the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors (RICS), in addition to some other research, completed in the USA.
The RICS study in 2004, concluded that 60% of the survey sampled suggested wind farms decrease the value of residential property, where the development is within view and 67% of the sample, indicated that the negative impact on property prices, starts when a planning application to build a wind farm is made.
The UK Government has committed itself to an ambitious target for reductions in carbon emissions, with a target of achieving 60% reduction in emissions by 2050.
There are a number of initiatives aimed at contributing to this, but one key element of this is to reduce carbon emissions from energy production, by developing renewable sources of energy, with a recommendation that 20% of the UK’s electricity should be generated from renewable sources by 2020. Prime among these is wind power, which has a high level of popular support. However, there is also considerable opposition to onshore (and to a lesser extent) offshore wind farms. A number of reasons are put forward by those opposed to them, but the negative impact on residential property values is often put forward.
Another RICS study completed in 2007, found less of a definite trend. Here the sample consisted of a number of sites in Cornwall and found that house price fluctuations, were more likely to be caused by factors other than wind farms, despite initial evidence that there was an effect. A recent study in the USA, continues the theme of a minimal effect on house prices.
Other reports suggest that the presence of wind turbines, does have a profound effect on some of the residents, who are based close to a turbine. A study by Dr Amanda Harry (Wind Turbines, Noise and Health 2007) on various sites around the UK in 2007, found the majority who live near to a turbine, found it had a negative affect on their health and quality of life, but the study did not provide much evidence for lower property values.
However, a recent landmark case has shown evidence, that house prices are affected by the close proximity of wind turbines. A Lincolnshire Valuation Tribunal Council Tax appeal in 2008, ruled that a resident would receive a discount on the Council Tax, because the home in question had lost value, as a result of a turbine. This ruling could be regarded as an official admission, that wind farms have a negative affect on prices.