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Value of Angus properties in path of ‘super-pylons’ could drop £1m per mile

Consultants Galbraith fear homeowners could see values drop by almost a third in some cases if they are near the proposed Kintore to Tealing overhead line.

Pylons campaigner Vince Taylor lives near Forfar. Image: Alan Richardson
Pylons campaigner Vince Taylor lives near Forfar. Image: Alan Richardson

Homeowners along the route of a line of 400kV ‘super-pylons’ through Angus and Aberdeenshire could stand to lose £1 million a mile in property values.

The forecast by consultants Galbraith comes amidst concerns some house sales have already fallen through because potential buyers do not want to live new the power lines.

An initial Galbraith study of a section of the line, comprising 21 houses over one mile, estimates the capital value at about £10 million.

The firm said that while individual properties were not assessed there could be at least a 10% devaluation of affected property – more in some instances.

But power giant SSEN has challenged the figure, saying they have seen no “clear, objective evidence” of the claims.

It comes as Angus campaigners revealed up to 20 people a day are joining a group fighting the SSEN scheme.

Pathway to 2030

The Kintore to Tealing 400kV overhead line project is part of SSEN’s multi-billion pound Pathway to 2030 infrastructure development programme.

Communities along the route say it will lead to pylons up to 75 metres high which will destroy the natural landscape.

And a leading Galbraith figure predicts it will be at huge financial cost to folk living in the shadow of the towers.

Consultant Ian Thornton-Kemsley said: “Our agency department are already aware of a number of sales affected by the announcement of the pylons in the vicinity.

He addressed a weekend public meeting of more than 200 people organised by Angus Pylon Action Group in Forfar.

Cases in the Lands Tribunal for Scotland suggest reductions of between 10% and 30% in property values arising from new pylon lines.

Negative equity risk

Mr Thornton-Kemsley’s Laurencekirk home is one of those near the pylon route.

Home reports often highlight the proximity of pylons, he said.

And he warned the position is potentially worse for borrowers, who could be at risk if the value of their home shrinks below the mortgage balance owed.

Reparation is sometimes paid for pylon installation.

walkers silhouetted against sky with electricity pylons behind.
Residents fear the landscape impact of the pylons plan.

But Mr Thornton-Kemsley believes many affected house owners will lose out as this is limited to instances where property rights are ‘taken’ by the infrastructure itself or by associated facilities.

“Landowners affected by the route stand to lose out but they are in the minority,” he said. “There will be a far greater number of house owners affected by the route and they will not receive compensation.”

Changes in the route have already resulted in sales falling through, according to Mr Thornton-Kemsley.

SSEN previously announced a re-routing of the line near Forfar.

Big turnout at Forfar meeting

Angus Pylon Action Group campaigner Vince Taylor said the weekend meeting brought together people “traumatised” by what the project could bring.

“Each and everyone of the audience who came had their own personal stories to tell – hopes, dreams and futures to plan.

“The simple truth is that they came not wanting anything from anyone, but only to preserve what they already had. They did not come for themselves but for everyone.

“We are witnessing an energy policy that is spiralling out of control and turning into an unmitigated disaster.

“There are a lot of people still finding out about this,” he said.

“We have around 15 to 20 people per day joining the Facebook group.

“But we need people to object strongly and object clearly to this.”

SSEN response

A SSEN Transmission spokesperson said: “We understand there is concern about the potential impact of new transmission infrastructure on property values, but to date we have not seen any clear, objective evidence that the Kintore to Tealing 400kV project will have a direct impact on the value of properties.

“Any perceived effects on property values will be addressed on a case-by-case basis.

“Once the proposed alignment for the overhead line is finalised, we will engage with property owners about any evidenced impacts with each case considered on its own individual merits within the relevant statutory frameworks.”

They added: “We have engaged with local communities including homeowners as part of our ongoing development process.

“Over the past two weeks’ we’ve been welcoming members of the public along to a series of information events across the east coast of Scotland about our proposals, including four in the Angus area.

“This has been a great opportunity to take on board a wide range of views and concerns about the scheme, share more detailed information about our plans, and keep communities up to date and hear some of the local communities’ concerns first hand.”