Wind Farm Report Into House Price Blight
An official Government report into renewable energy will reveal for the first time how wind farms affect rural house prices.
Consultants have been brought in by Environment Secretary Owen Paterson to look at whether renewable technologies drive down property values.
The work is part of a wider cross-government study looking at the effect of renewables on the countryside and rural economy.
Its findings will fuel a coalition rift over onshore wind turbines, with Tory MPs already predicting it will reveal "billions of pounds of planning blight".
Energy Secretary Ed Davey has rejected claims his officials are blocking the study amid anger that Mr Paterson is encroaching on his remit.
"My department is not blocking a Defra report on the impact of wind farms," he wrote in a letter to the Telegraph.
"The Government is committed to moving to a secure, affordable, low carbon energy system, without excessively relying on any single technology.
"So, this cross-government study will look at maximising the benefits and minimising the negative impacts of all technologies, including shale gas and nuclear."
The Government stressed the report was a joint project between the Department of Energy and Climate Change (DECC) and Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra).
A spokesman said: "We need to ensure that energy is generated in a way that is sustainable and understand the effects that different technologies have on the environment and on communities across the country.
"DECC and Defra are working together on this report, which is not yet complete, to ensure that it meets the usual standards and quality assurances that you would expect from any Government publication.
"A diverse energy mix is the best way to meet our energy security requirements, our climate change commitments and keep energy bills affordable."
A Defra spokesman added: "It is our role to rural-proof policy. We need to ensure that energy is generated in a way that is sustainable.
"Sustainability includes the economic as well as social and environmental impacts."
Tory MP for Daventry Chris Heaton-Harris claimed one of his constituents had seen their home's value plunge from £700,000 to £250,000 because of wind turbine plans.
But Jennifer Webber, from RenewableUK, told the Telegraph: "All the expert academic research published in this country and abroad over the last few years shows there's no conclusive evidence to suggest that wind farms affect house prices."