They deny, but we always knew


Don Jelbart (pic from The Oz)

The Australian, Feb 1, 2013

By Pia Akerman

A VICTORIAN council has conceded that a wind farm development still in its early stages has slashed the land value of its neighbours, and agreed their land rates should be cut.

In what is believed to be an Australian first, South Gippsland shire council has amended the rates notice for one neighbour of the Bald Hills wind farm project, which is yet to erect any of its 52 planned turbines.

The move is being cited as a victory by wind farm opponents, who claim the visual impact and noise of turbines, as well as possible health effects, drive down land values for neighbours.

South Gippsland Council chief executive Tim Tamlin said the value of a property adjacent to the Bald Hills site at Tarwin Lower, 170km southeast of Melbourne, was considered different from surrounding farm blocks because it was a coastal block bought for “lifestyle purposes”.

“This person, from what I can understand, paid a premium when they purchased it,” Mr Tamlin said. “They’re saying, ‘Hey, this isn’t fair now there’s a wind farm and I’m not going to be able to sell it to the market at that value any more’.

“We’ve gone and had a look and said ‘Yeah, that’s actually a fair call, you’re not going to get that any more’, which is sad really because the money he is going to save on his rates is never going to compensate for the capital loss.”

The neighbour, who declined to be named, has had his capital improved value assessment reduced by 32 per cent, from $662,000 to $450,000.

Mr Tamlin said the council had been “inundated” with other residents seeking similar reductions on their rates because of the wind farm. Cases would be assessed on their individual merits.

“One person 4km away has requested a rate review,” he said. “If there is an impact on these properties and they don’t (come forward and say) ‘Hey, how about me’, they will get picked up on the two-yearly (assessment) cycle if there is a change in their values.”

Don Jelbart has owned property near the site since 1985 and now plans to make his own appeal to the council for a rate reduction based on lower land value.

“I bought more land in 2002 just before the wind farm raised its head, with the sole purpose of that land being our superannuation,” Mr Jelbart said. “Once you put wind turbines there, the coastal value is removed.”

Mr Jelbart and his neighbours estimate the wind farm development will wipe $20 million from the value of nearby properties.

“Our land is being used as a buffer zone for an industrial site,” he said.

The Bald Hills wind farm has had a turbulent history since it was first approved by the Victorian government in 2004.

Howard government environment minister Ian Campbell temporarily stymied the project two years later when he used the threatened status of the orange-bellied parrot to block the project, before reversing his position.

Amended planning guidelines introduced by the Baillieu government would stop the wind farm, if it were proposed now, because turbines fall within 2km of opposed residents, but the rules are not retrospective.

Project owners Mitsui began road works at the site last August, but the first turbine is not expected to go up until September.

Real Estate Institute of Victoria policy and public affairs manager Robert Larocca said not enough properties near wind farms changed hands to assess whether the projects had an impact on land values.

“The data doesn’t allow us to do that,” he said. “A professional valuer may have their own individual point of view about a property, but at an overall level we are unable to discern the impact, negative or positive.”

The British Valuation Office Agency, which decides council tax valuations, last year ruled wind turbines built near homes could sharply decrease their value, moving some homes into a lower council tax band.

Mark Burfield, who is awaiting turbine construction within 1km from his property, has already received a verbal knockback from South Gippsland council after asking for a rates adjustment.

He is trying to sell some of his property, receiving one offer for $200,000 less than he advertised.

“The people came over, looked at the house and said ‘That’s fantastic’,” Mr Burfield said. “I said: ‘That’s where the wind farm will go.’ They went to see the wind farm manager, then came back and roasted the real estate agent.

“They said there is no way they were going to buy here and whata pity it was. I have $2.5m worth of farmland, and right now its unsellable.”

Original version

About stopthesethings

We are a group of citizens concerned about the rapid spread of industrial wind power generation installations across Australia.


  1. Peter Abei says:

    If you think the Wind Farms are ugly, wait until you see the powerline that will feed it. With poles up to 70 foot long, up to 14 wires per pole on 5 cross arms and spaced 70m apart, anywhere this line goes will be an eyesore. Potential purchasers will be thinking that the radiation will cook them. and any views will be spoilt.

  2. Siggi Macled says:

    Several large rural properties near Mortlake have been placed on the market before the Mortlake South and Woorndoo Windfarms begin construction- specifically because landholders KNOW that visual impacts and perceived loss of amenity will affect land values – and land values will DROP!

  3. Michael McCamm says:

    With all due respect to Mr. Larocca, there is a considerable amount of evidence that clearly reveals significant value losses for property near industrial scale wind turbines. One must, however, invest the time to look at each individual example, and not get confused by regionally collected data that does not discern distance, views or noise impacts. For the few professional appraisers who have done so, including myself, it is quite obvious that values are reduced in the range of 25% to 40%, with some lesser and some greater loss examples as well.

    A recent study I completed in Illinois compared homes averaging 1,500 feet setbacks vs. 10 mile setbacks, and the empirical data found 25% lower values nearby. Perhaps even more telling in some ways, 1 year longer average marketing time nearby, and a difference in sale to list price ratio of 70% vs. 95%.

    The market has spoken. Consistently. Turbines are not an amenity to neighbors, but are in fact a detrimental condition that impairs property value and arketability….not to mention use and enjoyment of those who do not wish to relocate from their family homes or farms.

    My Illinois study will be released to the public soon.

    Michael McCann, CRA
    McCann Appraisal, LLC
    500 North Michigan Avenue
    Suite 300
    Chicago, Illinois 60611

  4. grannyange71 says:

    Our next door neighbour took 14 months to sell their 100 acre property with newly built house and they really wanted to leave because of wind turbines, accepted in excess of $100000 less than the original valuation. They are young enough to start again,could not contemplate living within 1000 metres of 150 high 3 MW turbines complete with red flashing lights and no mitigation. We are not able to be so lucky as we are over 70. We have lost the best neighbours we have ever had.

  5. Life style blocks (next to wind developments) are totally unsaleable. My next door can’t sell his farm because of Accionas Mortlake south wind development. Of course they continually deny this. Acciona have told me land values at Waubra yhave increased! They forget to tell people they have bought most of the houses.

  6. Jackie Rovensky says:

    It’s not the advertised price a property is worth but what it sells for, and now we see even the valuations are falling. I wonder just how low the price of properties will be selling for. I feel for those who want or need to sell their properties for whatever reason. When homes sell, schools close when student numbers drop, shops close because there’s no-one locally to shop there the money will still come pouring into local communities won’t it. Because the ‘host’ farmers will have plenty to spend from payments received and that will keep the communities flourishing and prosperous – won’ it?

  7. Harry Makris says:

    ,,who in their right mind would buy a property close to a wind farm……yes …property values are being slashed…..

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