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Wind farm misery for property owners

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Housing values plummet in shadow of turbine developments.

A storm of protest has been whipped up by hundreds of people who claim their homes are being slashed in value by wind farms.

Some fear they have lost six-figure sums after failing to sell their property near imposing turbines.

Anti-wind farm campaigners and politicians claim they have been inundated with pleas for help from homeowners terrified about being left penniless.

Linda Holt, of Scotland Against Spin, said: “Estate agents are now advising those wanting to sell their homes to lower the price by 30%. Sadly, some find they cannot sell at all.”

Struan Stevenson MEP added: “Some homeowners are suicidal because their homes are worth a fraction of their original cost and many were counting on them for their pensions.

“The rush to make millions from wind farms is a cruel blow to homeowners whose only crime has been to live in the countryside.”

Mr Stevenson has put down an amendment to a bill going through the European Parliament to assess the impact of wind farms on house prices.

The development comes a week after we revealed the value of Boyd and Sally Sneddon’s exclusive Kintyre cottage has plummeted by £50,000 as a result of a planned wind farm half a mile away.

This week we spoke to three other families in a similar predicament.

A couple say they are living in a circle of misery in a remote farmhouse surrounded by turbines. But they have refused approaches by wind farm giants to buy them out.

Former MOD worker Kay Siddell, 68, and her retired army husband, John, 64, are standing their ground and have turned down an offer to buy their farmhouse by Old Dailly, South Ayrshire, on principle.

“We have been approached by a wind farm company who wanted to buy us out to cover our steading with turbines but we have principles and won’t abandon our beloved countryside.

“We live in a beautiful area with owls, hares and other delightful wildlife and we dread it being blighted by miles of turbines.”

The couple live 745 yards from Hadyard Hill wind farm. It has 52 turbines and is run by Scottish and Southern Energy.

“And we will soon have 360 degrees of misery because we have failed to stop the 10-turbine Assel Valley wind farm just 985 yards away. It was turned down by South Ayrshire Council and then approved by the Scottish Government.”

The couple say their nightmare is being compounded by plans for yet another wind farm at nearby Tralorg Hill.

Former staff sergeant John and Kay say they live behind closed curtains to shield them from the flickering turbines. “On a windy day you can hear the whooshing through our two feet thick farmhouse walls,” Kay reveals.

“Even the TV can’t block out the sound.”

They moved into their picturesque steading 26 years ago because they are passionate about wildlife. “The Scottish Government promotes rural living but we feel it has abandoned us,” Kay adds.

When artist Denise Davis learned of plans to build a huge wind farm near her rural Highland cottage she took matters into her own hands.

Mum-of-two, Denise, 45, worried that her £400,000 five-roomed home near Drumnadrochit would become unsellable.

“I headed up a campaign group of locals, organised protests and hounded the wind farm company,” she explained. “It eventually offered to buy me out to build turbines on my land but that made me even more determined to carry on the fight.

“If the wind farm had gone ahead our house would have been worthless.”

Denise and husband, Mark, a joiner, spent eight years creating the perfect family home. Victory was achieved when Highland Council refused planning permission for the turbines.

American-born Denise added: “Scotland has the prettiest scenery in the world. Why would anyone want to destroy it with wind turbines?”

A furious businessman and his family fear the value of their luxury rural home has dropped by six-figures because it lies in the shadow of Europe’s biggest wind farm.

Dad-of-five Jon Peberdy, of Waterside, East Ayrshire, says he has evidence to prove the selling price of the family’s farmhouse has plummeted by £150,000 since 215 turbines were built at the Whitelees development just yards from his back door.

The 175-year-old house which is built on land rich in Covenanter history was once valued at £800,000. However, though the stunning property has been on the market for three years, Jon has received just one offer of £650,000.

And the 52-year-old believes the property’s value could be set to fall even further if plans for a separate 15-turbine development half-a-mile to the south is given the go-ahead by planners.

Jon, 52, who owns a manpower services company, said: “The house was valued at £800,000 and is in top condition after we spent £200,000 renovating it. I won’t accept £650,000 so we plan to stay on here in the hope that we can sell it in future.

“It’s heartbreaking, especially as people are making millions from Scotland’s wind farms at the expense of hard-working people like us.”

The Whitelees wind farm which is owned by Scottish Power stretches for miles over unspoiled countryside in East Renfrewshire and Ayrshire. Meanwhile Community Wind Power is currently appealing planning restrictions to lower the speed and noise of the blades on the proposed 15-turbine site at Sneddon Law.

Jon, who insisted he won’t give in, added: “We feel desperate and under siege.”

A ScottishPower Renewables spokesperson said: “A number of studies have been carried out in last few years, and there is no conclusive evidence to suggest that wind farms affect house prices.”