House prices suffer from landfill sites

PEOPLE living near the landfill site in Great Blakenham could be losing thousands of pounds off their property, according to new figures published today.

By Victoria Knowles

PEOPLE living near the landfill site in Great Blakenham could be losing thousands of pounds off their property value, according to new figures published today.

A study carried out by Cambridge Econometrics shows there is an average reduction of about £5,500 in the value of houses within a quarter of a mile of operational dumps and about £1,600, for those between a quarter and half-a-mile from sites.

Among the side effects from rubbish sites that could damage house values were smell, dust, litter, noise, vermin and visual intrusion.

But chairman of Claydon Parish Council John Williams described the study as, "rubbish".

He said: "It may be their theory but it is just not true around here. Claydon is the biggest village surrounding the site and I know of no problems.

Most Read

"House prices rose when the cement works closed and have kept rising. It really is not a major issue for people in and around Great Blakenham."

In general, house prices nationally have soared ahead by 306 per cent during the past 20 years, a study by the Halifax revealed this year.

The cost of the average home has risen from just £29,993 in 1983 to £121,742 at the end of last year while retail prices have risen by just 115pc during the same period.

Claire Gendinning, who lives in Great Blakenham said she was not too worried about the survey.

She said: "I must admit that we always have litter in our garden and we can only think that it is from the landfill site. This does become annoying and it is something we have to live with.

"As for house prices I am not too bothered as no matter where you live there is always something. If someone wants the house badly enough they will pay."

A report in the Lancet last year, suggested babies were more likely to suffer from serious birth defects such as spina bifida and heart malformations if their mothers lived close to toxic landfill sites.

The research was conducted by a team of researchers from the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine who claimed women living within two miles of such sites were a third more likely to have children with serious birth defects.

There are thousands of landfill sites in the UK, but only about 300 are licensed to accept toxic waste defined as "hazardous".