The subject of wind turbines has taken centre stage over the last few days with news that the UK government has commissioned a report into how wind turbines impact the value of property in their vicinity. The very fact that the UK government, along with many other governments around the world, has over the last few years been actively pushing the introduction of more wind farms could put the authorities in a very tricky situation if the rumours are correct.
There is speculation that the forthcoming report, which may or may not be made public, will confirm that billions of pounds have been wiped off the value of properties in the UK located in the vicinity of the ever-growing number of wind farms. There is speculation that the Department for the Environment is actively looking to publish the report as soon as possible while the Department of Energy and Climate Change has attempted to block its release.
Concerns about UK property values
The problem for many people is the fact that by definition wind farms are located in some of the more rural areas of the UK which offer enough wind power to make an investment worthwhile – thereby leading to a direct impact upon rural property values. It is not quite clear whether the impact upon properties in the vicinity of wind farms is similar across-the-board or whether certain areas are impacted to a greater degree.
Quote from PropertyForum.com : “The gap in home values in the UK between London and the South East and the rest of the country is widening, according to new research.”
If you take a step back and look at the situation, many of the more rural areas of the UK host some beautiful homes with matching scenery. For many people it is the tranquil nature of life in rural Britain which adds to the value of many country homes. Therefore, if you are looking out across a raft of wind farms the impact is very different and few people would be willing to pay extra for a view of these enormous renewable energy projects.
What will the government do?
The reality is that the UK government, along with many other governments around the world, has signed up to a variety of legal obligations with regard to renewable energy. David Cameron has already confirmed that we are likely to see a reduction in the number of onshore wind farms with a potential increase in the number of offshore wind farms. While this will be music to the ears of many across rural Britain who were concerned about the potential for wind farms to be built in their vicinity, it will do nothing to help those who have seen a major impact upon their property values already.
While this is all speculation at the moment, a number of newspapers have covered a rumoured situation whereby a property priced at £700,000 fell by around £250,000 in value once plans were approved for the building of a wind turbine. This kind of impact is unlikely to be replicated right across the board but there will be many situations where the demand for rural property is impacted by planning approvals for wind turbines. Is this now something else we need to take into consideration when looking at the acquisition of a property?