Wind farms can reduce the value of homes within 2km by up to 12 percent, and can have a negative impact on house prices up to 14km (9 miles) away, according to new research by the London School of Economics.
The report will confirm what many people who live near large wind turbines already know – that the damage they do is not just visual but also financial.
Conducted by Professor Steven Gibbons, the report found that the average sized wind farm reduces prices by around 5 to 6 percent when visible from the home and located within 2km. This falls to just below 2 percent between 2 and 4km, and continues to have a slight effect up to 14km.
Large wind farms cause the most damage to house prices, however. Professor Gibbons says:
“As might be expected, large visible windfarms have much bigger impacts that extend over a wider area. The largest windfarms (20+ turbines) reduce prices by 12% within 2km, and reduce prices by small amounts right out to 14km (by around 1.5%).”
In fact, the impact of wind turbines may be even bigger than coal-powered plants. Gibbons cites US studies that show coal plants affect house prices by only up to 7 percent within a two mile radius.
Gibbons also looked at the how much house buyers would be prepared the pay to avoid having a wind farm visible from their property.
“The implied costs are quite substantial. For example, a household would be willing to pay around £600 per year to avoid having a windfarm of small to average size visible within 2km, around £1,000 to avoid a large windfarm visible at that distance and around £125 per year to avoid having a large windfarm visible in the 8-14km range. The implied amounts required per windfarm to compensate households for their loss of visual amenities is therefore fairly large: about £14m on average to compensate households within 4km.”
Last month, the wind farm trade body, RenewableUK, commissioned a report by the Centre for Economics and Business Research (CEBR) that suggested that wind farms have no impact on house prices.
George Matthews, who lives near a wind farm on the Scottish borders, told the Guardian: “We now have conclusive proof at last produced by a professional, trustworthy, honest and independent professional source stating categorically that turbines reduce house values, which totally contradicts the CEBR report.”
Although this is the first report to show conclusively that wind farms damage property prices, there has been much evidence previously.
Two years ago, the Valuation Agency Office moved certain houses near wind farms down into lower council tax bands, in recognition of the negative impact they have on the value of homes.
A couple who lived within 650 yards of Fullabrook wind farm near Brauton, Devon, also saw the value of their property fall from £400,000 to £300,000, according to a local estate agent’s estimate.
In 2008, Jane Davis was awarded a discount on her council tax because a wind turbine located 1,000 yards away had effectively rendered it “worthless”.