A Collector farmer threatens to sue neighbors if they lease their properties for wind turbines.
Tony Hodgson sent 8 letters to his neighbours who are likely to host the turbines, warning them that he would sue them for the adverse affects upon his property. Hodgson, who is president of anti-wind farm group Friends of Collector, will be closely located to the 63 turbines that are proposed by RATCH Australia for the Collector area, approximately 40 minutes north of Canberra.
Hodgson’s lawyers advised him that there was substantial precedent to sue people for accepting turbines onto their properties due to potential negative effects upon neighboring properties.
The letters outlined how if the recipients were to accept the development, they could be liable for any damages and personal injury that may ensue. The letters also warned that consent for the development was not a defense against legal action.
However, Gary Poile, a potential turbine host, dismissed the letters as bullying tactics. He is confident that RATCH Australia will deal with the legal threats, despite the fact that they are directed at landholders, rather than the company itself.
Karen, a local, commented that: “there seems to be next to no consideration of people living on properties next to turbines. Maybe suing is one of the only ways to draw attention to the issue”.
This development comes as a recent report discovered that properties located near wind farms can potentially lose up to 60% of their value. The 8 letters are the second batch in two years sent to Hodgson’s neighbors. He has so far received no response from any of the recipients.
Collector wind farm was recommended for approval by the NSW Department of Planning in September this year. If approved, it will join a growing number of other wind farms in the region, including ones at Gullen Range, Gunning and Crookwell. A recent report predicted there may soon be as many as 3000 wind turbines within a 90 km radius of Goulburn.