22 Jul 2012
By Nick Collins, Science Correspondent
Wind farms can bring down property prices, government officials have accepted after downgrading the official valuation of several homes close to turbines.
The decisions by the Valuation Office Agency (VOA) to move certain houses close to wind farms into lower council tax bands are the first official recognition that the turbines can lower the value of nearby homes.
Although property experts have long acknowledged the harmful effect of wind farms on property prices, the association has until now been dismissed by the wind industry as conjecture.
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, amounting to a saving of about £400 a year, the Sunday Times reported.