Viking rules out windfarm property compensation fund

Viking Energy has ruled out a fund to compensate property owners if their houses fall in value due to the forthcoming windfarm.

The company said there was no evidence that windfarms cause a drop in house prices and it would be irresponsible of the company to get involved in effectively underwriting the Shetland property market.

Shetland Charitable Trust agreed in June to ask Viking to consider a compensation scheme for any houseowner wishing to move from the windfarm area who found their property devalued.

The request formed part of the trust’s agreement to invest a further £6.3 million in the windfarm project, which it has a 45 per cent stake in. It also agreed to commission its own independent assessment of any impact the 103-turbine development might have on people’s health.

But Viking chairman Bill Manson, who also chaired the trust until May, has killed off the idea of a compensation fund. In a letter to the new trust chairman Drew Ratter he said intervention would not be a responsible way for Viking to conduct its business.

“Viking Energy Partnership has examined and considered available evidence in respect of the effect of developed wind farms on property values and has to conclude that there is no evidence of a link between operating wind farms and property devaluation. The available evidence includes specific work by the Royal Institute of Chartered Surveyors.”

He continued: “Property prices are determined by a combination of many thousands of tangible and intangible factors. To intervene and effectively underwrite the Shetland property market is not something any responsible business could undertake to do and Viking Energy Partnership must conduct its business in a responsible way.”

Mr Manson said he very much hoped trustees would appreciate there was no evidence to support the contention that windfarms caused property to fall in value.

The question of a compensation fund was put forward at the trust meeting in June by trustee Theo Smith, the new councillor for Shetland West. It was suggested at the meeting that if Viking declined to get involved then the trust should look at creating its own fund from the estimated £23 million-a-year profits it expects from the venture.

The issue will be discussed by trustees tomorrow. Trust financial controller Jeff Goddard is recommending that the matter is kept “under review”.

As previously revealed, the trust has asked NHS Shetland to undertake the study into health impact. Director of public health Dr Sarah Taylor has agreed to do the work, which trustees have been told will involve “an updated literature review on wind farms and health”.


Add Your Comment
  • Andy Holt

    • September 12th, 2012 18:45

    Well, well, Viking Energy claim that there is no evidence to support the contention that proximity to a windfarm affects house prices and cites a 2007 study commissioned by RICS. On its website RICS CLAIMS THERE IS NO DEFINITIVE ANSWER TO THE QUESTION “DO WINDFARMS AFFECT PROPERTY PRICES?” The study itself is inconclusive, and yet admits the ‘threat’ of a windfarm may have a ‘significant’ impact on property prices while claiming without evidence that the opposite may also sometimes be true ‘if the community are actively involved in the process.’ I would suggest readers take a look at James Delingpole’s article on the subject in this weeks Spectator. And ask yourself, would I buy a house next to the windfarm? No I thought not!

  • Sandy McMillan

    • September 12th, 2012 21:07

    The problem of these wind farms is with Bill Manson, he wants the publics money as much as he can get but is not willing to give any back to those who are going to have to put up with these monstrosities in there front and back yards as they watch the value of there property become worthless , Bill Manson and the rest of Viking Energy have to listen to the public that are giving him this money, the only way to stop Bill Manson and his Viking Energy is to give him no more of our money, he has Councillors Ratter and Wills in his pocket, and doesn’t he know, with a snap of his fingers to these two hypocrites Councillors Ratter and Wills and he will get, its not so long ago that Councillor Wills was against given out all this money, in fact Councillor Wills is still preaching on the same lines, but not when it comes to VE, and VEL, those people that are going to be effected by the wind farm will have to stand and be counted, and stop these monstrosities from being erected, I believe the majority of the population of Shetland are against, only the minority them that are going to make a quick buck are for, once Viking Energy and Scottish and Southern Energy get a foot hold then Shetland becomes there oyster, Scasta stopped them why cant Aith, Weisdale, and the rest of you that are going to be effected, they can shut your schools own to the lack of money with one hand, and give out £MILLIONS to VE with the other hand.
    Sandy McMillan

  • Michael McCann

    • September 12th, 2012 22:58

    My studies and every objective and independent study of residential values near wind projects reveals severe impacts on marketability and value. 25% is typical within 2 miles, but some empirical data indicates 40% losses as far as 3 miles.

    The only claims to the contrary I am aware of come from the wind industry and those they hire to opine no impact. Makes one wonder, with tens of thousands of licensed appraisers in the USA, why is the wind industry’s favorite report one that was authored by a student, who has literally no certification or real estate training?

    Why not go see an auto mechanic for legal advise?

  • Maurice Smith

    • September 13th, 2012 9:20

    Bill, if there’s no drop in house values, Viking wouldn’t have to pay a penny in compensation … why the panic?

  • Gerald Cate

    • September 13th, 2012 11:44

    ” 25% is typical within 2 miles, but some empirical data indicates 40% losses as far as 3 miles.”

    Dear Michael, please will you send me a list of the houses in Shetland which are placed on the market at between 25 and 40 percent discount on their “no windfarm” price? I promise to buy each and every one of them. I further promise that I would then be able to sell each and every one of them shortly afterwards at a substantial profit, once the panic (generated by you) dies down and the prices return to their normal level.



Add Your Comment

Please note, it is the policy of The Shetland Times to publish comments and letters from named individuals only. Both forename and surname are required.

Comments are moderated. Contributors must observe normal standards of decency and tolerance for the opinions of others.

The views expressed are those of contributors and not of The Shetland Times.

The Shetland Times reserves the right to decline or remove any contribution without notice or stating reason.

Comments are limited to 200 words but please email longer articles or letters to for consideration and include a daytime telephone number and your address. If emailing information in confidence please put "Not for publication" in both the subject line and at the top of the main message.

200 words left

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.


Get Latest News in Your Inbox

Join the The Shetland Times mailing list to get one daily email update at midday on what's happening in Shetland.