Landowner Compensation for Power Lines Based on Property Devaluation

Residents near a proposed TransGrid high voltage line from Stroud to Lansdowne, New South Wales, Australia are concerned about the negative impacts of the overhead line on their lifestyle, the environment, property values, compensation, tourism, livestock health and fertility, loss of views and safety (see Manning River Times and Wingham Chronicle).

With respect to compensation, in Alberta, electricity transmission companies like AltaLink, EPCOR and ATCO Electric argue they do not need to compensate landowners when new overhead high voltage power lines and towers devalue their properties because the Alberta government does not require them to. RETA and many others have argued it is not fair that landowners are not compensated for the decrease in their property values when it is a well-known fact that overhead high voltage lines negatively affect property values.

The Wingham Chronicle reports that in New South Wales, TransGrid does compensate landowners on the basis of property devaluation. A TransGrid spokesperson was quoted as saying, “The amount of compensation paid to a landowner is determined after an assessment determines the affect of the transmission line, supporting structures and access tracks on the value of the property.”

Why is the Alberta government not willing to recognize that overhead high voltage power lines decrease property values, and force transmission companies to compensate landowners accordingly, as is the case in more progressive jurisdictions like Australia? Or…better yet, bury high voltage power lines, which eliminates the negative impacts of overhead lines.

~ by RETA on March 21, 2012.

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