by Victoria Allen | Daily Mail | via Scotland Against Spin
Scots homeowners are seeing up to 50 per cent slashed from the value of their houses because of wind turbines, estate agents have warned.
Mounting evidence is emerging that the SNP’s green crusade has wiped thousands of pounds from home values across the country. It comes as the Scottish Government launches a study into the link between house prices and turbines, which experts say will show homes near wind farms are almost impossible to sell. One local authority has already lowered council tax for one household, in recognition that its value has dropped because of turbines nearby. Families across the country also claim they have been trapped in their homes for years because noisy wind farms put off potential buyers.
Richard Girdwood, an estate agent previously working in Scotland and now at Winkworth in London, cut his valuation of one property by £40,000 because of surrounding turbines. He said: ‘Wind turbines are beyond homeowners’ control and they do have an impact of potentially tens of thousands of pounds.’
Estate agent Iain Robb, previously with Strutt & Parker in Glasgow, wrote to a homeowner about the impact of proposed turbines near his property. Mr Robb, who did not respond to requests for further comment, said house prices could be cut in half or more by wind farms. He wrote: ‘In my personal view (as distinct from a Strutt & Parker corporate view) the capital values of residential properties near to existing or intended wind farms suffer a minimum of 50 per cent diminution of their residential capital value. ‘Properties next to sites where a planning application for a windfarm has been lodged are virtually unsellable.’
Tas Gibson, 66, who received the letter, was forced to knock £300,000 off his home and four holiday lodges in Newton Stewart, Wigtownshire. A retired financial controller in the oil and gas industry, he bought his 18-acre Waterside estate as an investment and has been trying to sell it for 18 months. He said: ‘The Scottish Government are just riding roughshod over ordinary people. Buyers are put off by the noise, the view and the effect on their health.’
Mr Gibson’s neighbouring wind farm, 96-turbine Kilgallioch, is just 2.5 miles west of his property, has planning consent and is expected to be started next year. Another house, close to the 16- turbine Drumderg wind farm in Blairgowrie, Perthshire, was found by an assessor to have had 20 per cent wiped from its value and its council tax band was lowered as a result.
Joss Blamire, senior policy manager at Scottish Renewables, said: ‘We have yet to see any conclusive evidence which links house and land prices with onshore wind farms. ‘The sector continues to be an important driver of investment at a time of slow or negative economic growth, employing more than 11,000 people and attracting £1.6 billion of investment to the country’s economy in 2012.’
A Scottish Government spokesman said: ‘Current planning and consents processes are rigorous and ensure appropriate siting.’