Conflicting views on wind farm property value affects

MEMBER for Hume Angus Taylor says rural land owners who’ve had their properties devalued by neighbouring wind farms deserve to be compensated.

His comments come following the publication of a preliminary report into the issue, which showed properties across the region that adjoined either energy developments or proposed energy developments had seen 33 to 60 per cent write downs.

The report was commissioned by Paul Vallely, a landholder in the Fullerton area, and was completed by Mr Peter Reardon who is a Real Estate Consultant and Registered Valuer from Goulburn.

Mr Vallely, however, warns that the findings of the report should not be taken out of context.

"Till now, there has been an assumption that wind farms do not result in the devaluing of property values and consequently, has not been a consideration in the planning process for these projects.

“This report shows planning authorities cannot continue to rely on that assumption, and therefore, should analyse the impact that wind farm projects will have on land values on a case by case basis only. “Whenever a Planning Assessment is carried out on a wind farm project, a report such as the one I commissioned should be completed before the project is approved or declined." said Mr. Vallely. 

"Our report, however, should not be considered as the basis for any claim for compensation as it does not provide sufficient evidence that wind farms will devalue properties.

“The report has simply found that, to date, two properties have been identified as suffering devaluation due to wind farms. 

“A large number of property sales need to be analysed before we can claim a significant correlation exists between land values and wind farm projects."

Mr. Taylor vowed to continue his campaign against “the bad economics” of the heavily subsidising wind energy developments, when there were “far cheaper ways to reduce carbon emissions”.

“I am also keenly focused on ensuring that landowners and local towns and villages, many located in the electorate of Hume, get a fair deal,” he said.

One man who believes he has definitely been given a raw deal is Jim Hutson, who lives next door to the Gullen Range Wind Farm.

He has been trying to sell his property for five years now. He has advertised with four different agents and in the entire time he has only had one person enquire.

When they were told about the wind farm that was to be built next door they left and didn’t come back.

“As soon as the agents mention the turbines that are going up on the hill they do a 180 and walk back out the front door and that’s the end of the story,” he explained.

“In the meantime, I’m stuck out there. I don’t want to live there.

We have got two kids who live in Tamworth and my wife wants to move up there... but we can’t because we’re locked in down into 25 years of home detention.

“If you can’t sell your property you’re there and you don’t want to be there. It gets you down a bit actually.”

Mr Hutson said the entire district had become polarised on the issue.

David Books and John Benjamin also live next door to the Gullen Range Wind Farm and conveyed similar sentiments.

Mr Benjamin is currently trying to sell his property and has no doubt the neighbouring development has devalued his asset.

“The economic impact on areas like this, within three hours of Canberra and Sydney, is huge,” he told the Post.

“The landscape here is a fabulous asset that brings more money. People buy properties. Now that market is buggered.”

Mr Brooks believed the entire wind industry was a train wreck waiting to happen, saying there were unresolved issues surrounding health and that the state government showed bias toward developers.

“There doesn’t seem to be an alternative… There’s no solution. They really ought not be here. Plus they’re hugely inefficient… The only way we get anything out of this is if we took the developers to court but that’s terribly expensive.”

Wind industry consultant Nick Valentine has questioned the credibility of the Peter Reardon report, stating that at least one of the properties mentioned in the study had a number of other devaluing aspects, including poor drainage and agricultural capacity.

“I have reviewed the Reardon report and to me it doesn't stand up to scrutiny,” he said.

Mr Valentine believed the sample set was far too limited to draw a conclusion. He also didn’t think there was a case for compensation.

 “It doesn’t happen in any other industry and I think it would set a dangerous precedent,” he said.

The consultant believed that ‘wind farm stigma’ was having a bigger impact on property values than the developments themselves.

He said the health concerns surrounding turbines had been blown completely out of proportion and that many neighbouring property owners were ‘talking down’ the value of their own asset.

MEMBER for Hume Angus Taylor says rural land owners who’ve had their properties devalued by neighbouring wind farms deserve to be compensated. His comments come following the publication of a preliminary report into the issue, which showed properties across the region that adjoined either energy developments or proposed energy developments had seen 33 to 60 per cent write downs.  Mr Vallely, however, warns that the findings of the report should not be taken out of context.

MEMBER for Hume Angus Taylor says rural land owners who’ve had their properties devalued by neighbouring wind farms deserve to be compensated. His comments come following the publication of a preliminary report into the issue, which showed properties across the region that adjoined either energy developments or proposed energy developments had seen 33 to 60 per cent write downs. Mr Vallely, however, warns that the findings of the report should not be taken out of context.