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Compensation For Property Value Falls

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In today's Times

"Homeowners do not have a right to compensation for anything that causes their property value to fall"


August 24, 2005

Pylon on the agony

By Ross Clark

WHEN HE OPENS his curtains and gazes out of his bedroom window in the morning, Dermot Finnigan can admire the graceful outline of the miniature replica of the Eiffel Tower that has recently been built at the end of his garden. Admitedly, Mr Finnigan doesn’t quite see it that way: to him it is just a pylon which he claims has knocked £600,000 off the value of his home in Sale, Greater Manchester, taking it back to the £400,000 it was worth when he built it in 1991. In fact, he feels so strongly that he has been arrested for threatening to shoot the structure.

I cannot be alone in thinking that Mr Finnigan’s house, which with its garish blue windows resembles a small office block on a 1980s business park, is not itself the greatest asset to the landscape. In fact, given the chance of removing one blot from the skyline, I would probably opt for his house; I have become rather fond of the pylons which punctuate the fens from my upstairs windows.

The relative aesthetic qualities of pylons and Mr Finnigan’s house are, of course, a matter of personal taste. But what really bothers me is Mr Finnigan’s assertion that homeowners have a right to be compensated for anything that causes a fall in the value of their properties. Mr Finnigan isn’t claiming that the pylon has made him ill, is keeping him awake at night, or is preventing him from enjoying his home in any other way; only that he has been “left out of pocket ” because potential buyers are being put off.

Presumably on the same basis aggrieved homeowners should be allowed to sue Bob and Doris at No 37 for taking the street down a social peg or two by parking a caravan on their front lawn, and the residents of Cheam should be able to sue the estate of Tony Hancock on the grounds that he has reduced their suburb to a stock joke and dissuaded wealthy buyers from purchasing homes there.

British homeowners have collectively made more than £1 —trillion on their homes over the past decade, but these profits are a bonus, not a birthright. If Mr Finnigan were to be compensated it would set a precedent that would make it all but impossible to undertake any development without paying tens of thousands of pounds to a homeowner who can prove the scheme will scare away potential buyers. He should try to enjoy the views of his spectacular new neighbour.

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You see, if he was renting...........

We at the Finnigan Compensation Fund can only decry

the cheap brand of sarcasm that cannot perceive the

fundamental issues involved or the political necessity

of establishing Mr Finnigan's human rights.

Having rallied in support, we have striven to

raise the £600,000 that Mr Finnigan and his family

have lost over this regrettable matter and we have

advertised countrywide, held fetes, raffles and boot

sales in thirty two counties.

The fund now stands at ... err, £8.60, so we would be

grateful of some more help, as some people are just

not treating this issue seriously.

Mr Finnigan is currently not available to take calls as

he is busy dealing with 342 Travellers who have just

bought the field with the pylon in it.

His house is now valued at £95,000 (ONO).

Edited by justanewbie

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  • 301 Brexit, House prices and Summer 2020

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