Will wind farms knock 'a third off house prices'?

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wind mill in countryside

Tory MP Geoffrey Cox claims wind farms can knock up to a third off the value of a property. The MP for West Devon and Torridge says some developers and landowners are making millions, while some homeowners are seeing significant sums wiped off the value of their investment.

A lot of hot air? Or does Cox have a point?

10% minimum off?

"An increasing number of people are coming to me with clear evidence that the value of their home is significantly less than what it otherwise would be were the wind farm not there," says Cox, quoted in the Telegraph."I'm seeing a minimum 10 per cent to 15 per cent reduction," he said. "Some are seeing a loss of one-third of the value. How can that be fair?"

Cox's claims appear anecdotal. So far the Royal Institute of Chartered Surveyors says the evidence to support Cox's worries is inconclusive - though it admits that for the majority of people who live near a turbine found it "had a negative affect on their health and quality of life. However, the study did not provide much evidence for lowering property values."

This RICS survey was back in March 2007 and a significant number of wind farms have been built on and off-shore in the UK since that time. The Government meanwhile is under pressure to ensure that 15% of its energy needs are met by renewable sources by 2020, so we are likely to see yet more activity on this front.

More concerning

In the interim, there's an argument that in the downpours of recent weeks, many people have more pressing issues to worry about. Some 1,300 properties have been flooded in the recent storms.

The Government's comprehensive Climate Change Impact Assessment recently found that by the 2020s, the number of UK homes at significant risk of flooding will climb to 970,000, so this particular risk is spreading.

Meanwhile, the latest 30-day report from the Environment Agency claims Britain may face another month of severe flooding. The worst of the rain is forecast for North West England and Wales.