Do Wind Turbines Decrease Property Values? Experts Weigh In

Topic: wind farm extension Read Time: 7 mins
Landowner type: Independent landowners Energy: Onshore wind
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Are there wind turbines perched near your land? If so, you may want an answer to the question: “Do wind turbines decrease property values?”. Join us as we run through everything you need to know (with a bit of expert help).

It doesn’t matter whether you’re a commercial landowner, a rural farmer, or a residential homeowner. If a new wind turbine is going up around your land, you’re probably trying to figure out “do wind turbines decrease property values?” Look, we completely understand. 

You’ve made a huge investment, and a large structure that produces renewable energy could affect the value of it. But we’re here to set the record straight.

We’ve consulted with experts to find out just how much wind farms impact property prices. So, if you’re thinking of starting a wind farm (or are just interested in one that’s popping up nearby) – we’ve got you. Offering everything from hard facts and real-world examples to words of wisdom, this article does it all.

Now let’s do this.

Why Are People So Afraid of Onshore Wind?

A large-scale study of properties in Denmark showed that offshore wind turbines had little to no influence on property prices. And that’s because even coastal holiday homes weren’t adversely affected by the noise (or sight!)  of turbines at sea.

But some members of the British public are primarily against the idea of ONSHORE wind. Now, there’s no denying that part of this can be blamed on aesthetic issues, as some people think that wind turbines are eyesores. However, there’s also the idea that wind turbines ON or NEAR someone’s land will significantly impact its overall value.

Whether that’s a regular residential home or a huge acreage of farmland, no one (understandably!) wants to see their property devalued. Although older UK studies have revealed that turbines can devalue property prices by approximately 12% within a 2km radius, we’d argue otherwise.

But it’s also worth mentioning that turbines are significantly more efficient than they were a few decades ago and continue to become more efficient as technology improves. Because of this, fewer turbines are required to produce similar or greater energy outputs these days. And with fewer turbines comes a more limited land impact overall.

In short, the effect on property prices is less significant than landowners might think!

So, why are landowners so concerned about their property values decreasing despite evidence popping up to the contrary? Well, it’s largely down to uncertainty – so, let’s delve into that idea.

Words of wisdom from Ashley Dodgson

We’re a team that always comes to the table armed with real-life examples. So, we took it upon ourselves to speak with expert surveyor Ashley Dodgson (MRICS – General Practice Associate). He’s a qualified member of the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors with over 15 years of experience in the industry. 

Plus, he has extensive knowledge of the country house, farm/estate, equestrian market, and the family farming sector. This allows him to relate to landowners on a practical level.

Speaking from experience of his work at GSC Grays, Ashley revealed that:

Photo of Ashley Dodgson from GSC-Grays.
picture of yellow quotation marks

While from a visual perspective, [wind turbines] are fairly prominent…there isn’t a particular devaluation.

Ashley Dodgson, MRICS – General Practice Associate

He didn’t argue against the fact that wind turbines look obvious on the landscape (which some people dislike). But he did note that developers don’t always produce stellar mockups during the planning stages of a renewable energy project. And this is where the uncertainty factor comes in for local communities.

Concerning a project in North Yorkshire, Ashley also noted that:

picture of yellow quotation marks

People can’t always visualise what [a project] is going to look like – and this is the driver. There was one example where a developer made poor CGI images and poor landscape profiling, [and I could] understand how it was rejected [initially]. When it went to appeals, [the developer] did a lot more work on superimposing, panoramas, and how it would look on completion.

Ashley Dodgson, MRICS – General Practice Associate

So, what did this mean for the project?

As the community could now properly visualise the site, the uncertainty they held virtually vanished. It’s true that not every developer will win over a community when obtaining planning permission. But it’s something to consider, as so much resistance against renewable energy projects is simply born from community uncertainty and fear.

Do Wind Turbines Impact Property Values?

Now that we’ve tackled why communities tend to resist wind farms, let’s uncover how turbines actually impact property values. It’s worth mentioning at the outset that the British public is gradually coming around to onshore wind energy. In fact, just 4% of the population actively opposes onshore wind (with 79% supporting it).

So, most of the UK is aware that a movement away from fossil fuels is a reality that we need to face.

But does this change once landowners are faced with the prospect of actually having turbines nearby? Are they envious of the income that surrounding landowners are earning from their renewable energy projects?

Well, we can’t say for certain.

However, we will say that there’s no consistent pattern that proves an impact on house prices around turbines. This is partly because various factors can impact property prices at any time. But it’s also because the noise, visual impact, and general “worry” surrounding wind farms are often unfounded. Plus, commercial wind turbines can’t exactly be placed in a back garden because of minimum distance requirements.

That’s right – turbines need to be placed a certain distance from surrounding buildings and residences to be approved.

It’s also worth mentioning that an independent study by the CEBR found that there was no negative impact on property prices. The study analysed 7 separate sites across England and Wales and found no devaluation on properties within a 5km radius.

If you’re still in doubt, the study assessed over 82,000 different transactions to come to this conclusion.

Is There a Net Benefit to Having Wind Turbines on Your Land?

Absolutely. Turbines don’t tend to adversely affect a landowner’s property value.  Instead, the landowner with the turbine typically sees an overall increase in their land value. Plus, the potential income received can be significant.

Rows of wind turbines

Although a small amount of land loss will happen to account for the turbines, it’s generally minimal. For the most part, farmers can still work on their arable land without turbines adversely impacting them. Plus, it’s worth noting that large-scale commercial wind farms are typically based in rural communities. In these areas, land values are typically less expensive than large metropolitan cities.

For this reason, landowners who house these projects would actually benefit from housing turbines on their land.  In fact, they see an increase in values due to the income associated with the project. 

For developer-built projects, the value increase is largely dependent on the lease that the landowner has in place with their project developer. And for self-build landowners, the value relies on the PPA that’s in place with their energy offtaker. Throw in the fact that they’re a high-income generating asset for rural communities, and it’s clear that wind turbines are a net positive.

If we look at things through a different lens, having a wind farm close by can significantly increase community funding too. And it’s not just that.

If a neighbour sees (and appreciates!) the income benefit from turbines, they may wish to host some themselves. Should a few turbines already be approved in the local area, the chances of getting planning permission for new projects increases significantly.

So, Do Wind Turbines Decrease Property Values?

Overall, issues surrounding property values and wind farms are more psychological and attitudinal than anything else. While many people mention blighting factors and noise, there is a lot of legislation around this to minimise impact.

Many developers now fit turbines with noise reduction systems.  Plus, the “eyesore” argument is technically an opinion as wind farms don’t typically disrupt the landscape too much. Also, any drops in property prices tend to rebound and recover in 2 years. So, is the reduction truly significant unless you’re looking for a speedy sale?

landscape photo of a wind farm.

FAQs

Landowners often contact us asking: “Do wind turbines decrease property values?” So, if you have any further questions about this topic, we’ll do our best to answer a few FAQs below.

What are the negatives of living near wind turbines?

There aren’t many strict negatives to living near wind turbines. If you’re near a turbine, you might hear a slight hum or whirr. But it’s highly unlikely.

Why do some people not want wind turbines near their homes?

As we’ve mentioned, most people just have a fear of the unknown as they don’t know how turbines will affect them. The other major argument is that wind turbines can be huge and people think they’re unsightly.

What is a safe distance to live from a wind turbine?

Developers need to build wind turbines a certain distance from homes to get planning permission (this is currently 1500 metres or more).

Can you hear a wind turbine a mile away?

Even commercial wind turbines tend to produce a noise that registers at 30 decibels or so. You wouldn’t hear this level of noise from a mile away.

Do I need planning permission for a wind turbine in my garden?

Anyone wanting home wind turbines on their will need to apply to a local planning authority for mounted turbines. Some turbines will come under the Government’s Permitted Development Rights. But it’s always worth checking with your local council to confirm this.

We hope that this article has answered the question, “Do wind turbines decrease property values?”

If we haven’t cleared up your burning questions here, feel free to reach out to the team – we’re always happy to help.

And if you currently have a wind project on your land? We can even compare your project to others around the country with our SiteScan(™) tool! Yep – there’s no need to leave any money on the table when you go into your next lease negotiation.

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