Skip to main content

Wind Farms: Friend or Foe to a home buyer?

Wind turbines  are on the increase and  this is of no surprise when the  UK is known to be one of the best locations for wind power in the world. 

The UK is ranked as the world's sixth largest producer of wind power, having recently overtaken France and Italy. 

Wind power delivers a growing fraction of the energy in the United Kingdom and at the beginning of January 2014, wind power in the United Kingdom consisted of 5,276 wind turbines.

The odds of encountering one of these turbines or a planing application for one to be installed are increasing.  The importance of identifying the location of a turbine and of any planning application when moving home  has now therefore become a feature of the legal due diligence involved when buying a new home. 

Your conveyancing lawyer needs to make sure the environmental search result covers wind energy and to ensure you are altered if there is a turbine in the immediate vicinity of the property you are looking to purchase. Your advisor should also recommend a planning search to see if there is any application before the council for the installation of a turbine.   This is not a standard search and therefore you should always ask your lawyer to carry one out if wind farm activity is a concern. 

Buying a property in the immediate vicinity of the property could affect the value and if you are borrowing money your lawyer will be required to report the finding to your lender.  This is because the valuation on which the loan offer could be affected. More to the point its not advisable to purchase a property which you may then have problems re-selling in the future. 

So why would a turbine in close proximity have impact on the value of the property?

Visual Impact

Some people like the sight of a turbine but many others find the turbine a ‘turn off’. 

Lighting 

If the turbine is over 200 feet in height it has to have a light attached.  This could be a static or flashing light.  It could be viewed by some as a nuisance. 

The flickering of light caused by the wings of the turbine as they turn can also create a nuisance for those living in close vicinity especially in bright and sunny weather. 

Noise

The turbine does emit a noise.  The impact of this depends on the terrain, the direction of the wind, and the wind pattern.  The noise resembles that of a refrigerator and can travel for several hundred feet.  It commonly considered that those living more than half a mile away are unlikely to be troubled by the emission of noise. 

Health 

There is no evidence that turbines are likely to have a direct affect on health. 

However a 2008 guest editorial in Environmental Health Perspectives published by the National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences, the U.S. National Institutes of Health, stated: "Even seemingly clean sources of energy can have implications on human health. Wind energy will undoubtedly create noise, which increases stress, which in turn increases the risk of cardiovascular disease and cancer.

Lawyers are not environmental experts nor are they valuers; their duty is to make the client aware of the existence of the turbine and advise a client to discuss the implications of its location and proximity with a surveyor as well as an environmental expert so as to ensure an informed decision is made before the client commits to the purchase. 


Morgan Jones and Pett are solicitors who provide legal advice and services to clients based in England and Wales and who can be contacted on 01603877000 or via email at davidpett@m-j-p.co.uk

Comments

Popular posts from this blog

Party Wall Act Costs - Protecting the building owner from the Highwayman

Introduction
One of the most worrying aspects of entering the Party Wall Act 1996 (Act) arena is the uncertainty surroundingfees, or as they are referred to within the Act -‘costs’.
If you are fortunate enough ( or some might say lucky enough) to have at your side a competent party wall surveyor, and one with a moral compass, the chances are you will derive a certain degree of protection.However, there is still no guarantee you will not need to set aside a considerable sum of money to cover the cost of becoming trapped within the Act.This applies equally to both building owner and adjoining owner, and one must not forget that if an adjoining owner’s surveyor does not recover all of his costs from the building owner, there is every possibility the adjoining owner may be left to meet the remaining liability.
The problem of high, unreasonable and unpredictable costs is caused, in part, by a piece of malfunctioning legislation, and patly as a result of certain unconscionable conduct on the p…

Building Regulations and moving home

Do I have supply evidence of Building Regulation Approval in respect of works carried out to my property when I look to sell my property?
If you have the approval then of course supply it – it will help to ensure your sale moves quickly.
If you have carried out works and approval was required and sought and you no longer have a certificate then call the issuing council and ask for a duplicate.
If you have carried out work, and the work required building regulation approval, but this was not sought then you need to consider with your solicitor when the work was carried out and what to do in response to your buyer’s request for sight of the approval.
The following may help.
Check that work carried out actually required building regulation approval as not all work attracts the requirement.
If the building work was carried out before November 1985 it would not require building regulation approval. There is no need therefore to supply it or offer indemnity insurance.
If work was carried out af…

Do not purchase a New Build Property without first reading this....

Buying a property which has yet to be built, or which is newly constructed should be approached with care and here are some tips which will help:
Remember those friendly and helpful people within the sales offices are sales people and are no different from those people who you would find in car and double-glazing showrooms.  They are paid on results and work under the pressure of targets.   Once they have you signed up they will be your best friend and be in regular, sometimes daily, contact until they have collected all of you money.   There are many instances when this shadowing could be conceived as harassment.At the outset you will be asked about whether you have a mortgage and a solicitor to undertake the legal work.   You will be steered towards making use of the developers preferred brokers and solicitors.  These are ‘partners’ who have been chosen to work with the developer as the developer expects those partners to report to them regularly and to do all they can to ensure the …