15 Feb 2015
Homeowners who think the price of their house would be hit by a nearby windfarm development should be able to claim compensation, the Scottish Conservatives have said.
The party will launch a comprehensive rural action plan on Monday at a major rural showcase in Stirling.
The strategy will cover a range of issues confronting rural Scotland, and was devised after the Scottish Government made clear its only focus was on land reform.
As part of the proposals, the Scottish Conservatives have called for a valuation system to be set up allowing people to recover the lost market value on homes affected by new windfarms.
Many communities across the country have complained that large turbines looming over their towns and villages have made the area less appealing to live, therefore reducing the price of their properties.
The party is asking the Scottish Government to look at a similar model in Denmark, where a valuation authority can decide if a person’s home has been impacted, and how much the windfarm developers should pay in compensation.
The SNP’s extreme pro-windfarm approach has sparked a rise in windfarms being built across rural Scotland, despite concerns among residents and local councils.
Scotland, despite having less than 10 per cent of the UK’s population, now hosts more than half of the UK’s windfarms.
Thousands of objections are submitted by the public every year, while local authorities receive scores of applications for developments each month.
Scottish Conservative chief whip John Lamont said:
“When communities are saddled with a major windfarm development on their doorstep, that has a series of immediate impacts.
“Often treasured views are spoiled, the local tourism industry threatened, and the very appearance of their towns and villages altered significantly.
“All of these aspects can affect house prices, so it is essential we take steps to ensure no-one is left out-of-pocket in future as a result of a windfarm project they probably didn’t want.
“That’s why a valuation authority system, which people who think they’ve lost value on their home could appeal to, would go some way to balancing this.
“There’s currently no vehicle for doing this, and that is blatantly unfair.
“The SNP has made it perfectly clear the only rural issue it cares about is land reform.
“While that is important – and our rural action plan will include policy and recommendations on this – there are several other matters which are causing widespread concerns in communities the length and breadth of Scotland.”
Notes to editors:
The Scottish Conservatives’ rural action plan will be launched on Monday by leader Ruth Davidson and Mid Scotland and Fife MSP Murdo Fraser at the Stirling Livestock Auction, at 10.30am, at the Stirling Agricultural Centre.
Councils across Scotland receive scores of bids for development every month:
Scotland now accounts for more than half the UK’s windfarms:
Thousands of people across Scotland have objected to windfarm developments: