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Thread: Buying A House Near Power Lines

  1. #1
    Craftsman dixie's Avatar
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    Buying A House Near Power Lines

    Hi All,

    We're currently in the process of buying a lovely house and our survey has highlighted the presence of 132kV power lines running over the garden and in close proximity to the house (around 8m horizontal from closest point to the centre of the lines) as a concern.
    When we looked around we didn't really batter an eyelid, but since it's been flagged I've started some research and worryingly noted some possible links to childhood leukaemia (we have a son <6 months). I understand that there's no direct link between non-ionising radiation and cell damage/cancers, but lots of articles dismiss the dangers EMF and current effect and then say "but housing shouldn't be closer that 50m from high voltage lines". On top of that I'd also be in a garden office 5 days a week directly under the lines.

    As with most things there's a mix of information out there and I'm struggling to find a black and white answer (if one exists).

    Does anyone have any experience with a situation like this or work in the high voltage field (excuse the pun)?

  2. #2
    Master blackal's Avatar
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    There is no conclusion to long-term effects or lack of.

    BUT - The proximity of power-lines can have a huge effect on the value of the property.

    The ones you mention (8mtrs) - That is bloody close!!!

    Were the sellers biting your hand off?

  3. #3

  4. #4
    Master
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    Power lines are a 'no' for me when buying a house - especially that close. I think that they are unsightly and undoubtedly affect price and desirability. I would also worry about the possible link to childhood cancer if I had young children (which, of course, also is part of the price/saleability issue).

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  5. #5
    My closest friend grew up in a house with power lines about that close.
    He developed some issues in late teens - juvenile myclonic jerks or something. A sort of epileptic episode.

    Not sure if linked


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  6. #6
    Master Maysie's Avatar
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    What is/is not proven is one debate, but peoples cautiousness about buying homes near powerlines is certain to blight the desirability of the property and impact on the ultimate value.

    You are asking the question, so others (potential buyers) will do the same if/when it comes time for you to sell.

    It would be a NO from me for that reason alone.

  7. #7
    Grand Master Neil.C's Avatar
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    I'd never buy a house close to power lines.

    Apart from being a hard sell later, somebody I know has a house near a pylon and you can hear the humming.
    Cheers,
    Neil.

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  8. #8
    Master
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    We had a house in the past near power lines, not as close as you mention.

    When we were selling it just so happened that there were a rash of articles in the press about the risks.

    No hard evidence as far as I could see but it was enough to scupper the sale and viewings for a few months before everyone forgot about it again.

    I wouldn’t buy near power lines again because you never know when the next bit of research may be released that blights your property.

  9. #9
    Master
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    Proximity to power lines would put me off buying any house. It’s one of the first things that I’d look for

  10. #10
    Craftsman
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    Lol....reminded me of this.

  11. #11
    Master Sinnlover's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by magpie215 View Post
    Lol....reminded me of this.
    I guess it’s something for the kids to play on…
    Every cloud etc.

  12. #12
    Grand Master Onelasttime's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by notenoughwrists View Post
    My closest friend grew up in a house with power lines about that close.
    He developed some issues in late teens - juvenile myclonic jerks or something. A sort of epileptic episode.

    Not sure if linked


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    My son suffers from these but he has hemiplegia (cerebral palsy) so his is related to that. He gets them when he's startled by a car horn or similar. Sometimes it's worse than others.

    I wouldn't be surprised if strong electrical signals in close proximity were a factor, but no proof of course.

    To the OP, I just wouldn't.

  13. #13
    No.

    I have to be careful here. When a large and well known German company took over our several acre site (with power lines running over) they did an electromagnetic survey and immediately moved their staff out of the buildings under the lines. We noticed our engineers/developers/managers left in accommodation underneath the lines suffered way more in terms of sickness absence than the rest of us. Anecdotal I know, but it would be a very firm No from me.

  14. #14
    Spent 4 yrs doing a job that required occasional site surveys at live sub stations. I hated going into them, the constant hum and crackle and it made your hairs stand up. I wouldn't want to live near one. At least your lines are only 132kV and not the 275 or 400kV ones i used to play near

  15. #15
    Is the issue reflected in the asking price?

    As previous posters have pointed out, such a property is significantly blighted by the proximity of cables like this. Also 4g masts, inconclusive health impacts but devalue the house regardless.

    I'd be very very cautious

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  16. #16
    Master
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    Forgive my ignorance on this, but I guess we are talking huge big pylon type power lines? What about a single fern to your house?

  17. #17
    Grand Master
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    I considered buying a house with power lines approx. 50metres away and running over the (very large) garden. The house had been sold once but the buyers pulled out because of similar fears regarding the very tenuous link with childhood leukaemia. I decided against buying for several other reasons, the power lines didn`t worry me at all but the potential effect on the property value was a factor I considered.

    The buzzing could be off-putting, that seems to vary with weather conditions, but I wouldn`t be put off buying provided the price was very reasonable.

  18. #18
    When young I lived next to a load of pylons with my parents until I left home at seventeen, It had no negative effects on me ( hopefully )
    My mother was on medication for migraines until she moved house a few years ago & hasn't had as much as a bad head since.
    Makes you wonder if some people are maybe more susceptible to the power lines but who knows.
    The buzzing noise could only be heard when it was raining for whatever reason.

    A farmer had a herd of cows in the same field as the pylons & I never used to hear them complaining accept for when I was shooting them in the ass with my trusty old gat gun.
    Last edited by Gobo; 17th May 2022 at 15:34.

  19. #19
    There's some good stuff on field strength here: https://www.emfs.info/sources/overhead/specific/132-kv/
    From memory, field strength from a cable drops as a square of the distance from the cable. Double the distance, quarter the field strength.
    It's interesting to compare the field strengths against those from household goods: https://www.emfs.info/sources/appliances/ These are point soucre radiators, so the field drops as a cube of the distance.

    As an electronics engineer, I wouldn't worry about exposure to the EM fields. But I wouldn't put up with the humming, the view or the impact on resale. It's a "no" from me.

    Quote Originally Posted by Gobo View Post
    A farmer had a herd of cows in the same field as the pylons & I never used to hear them complaining accept for when I was shooting them in the ass with my trusty old gat gun.
    Granny taught me that if I have nothing nice to say, I should say nothing. I genuinely have no words for you.
    Last edited by mikeveal; 17th May 2022 at 15:45.

  20. #20
    Grand Master Onelasttime's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Gobo View Post

    A farmer had a herd of cows in the same field as the pylons & I never used to hear them complaining accept for when I was shooting them in the ass with my trusty old gat gun.
    You used to shoot cows with an air gun for fun? And you still think it's funny? Sad!

  21. #21
    Craftsman dixie's Avatar
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    Thank you for all the replies, great to have input from the wider audience of the G&D.

    The value is slightly lower that originally listed, but not a huge discount mainly because of how "hot" the market is and that it's in a very desirable area.
    I understand the concerns of resale, but we're planning to live there for the long term so not too worried about that. I'm sure we'd see our money back in the long run.

    This is the size of the pylon and it's not really visible from the house but can be seen from the garden, as I say it's the power lines that pass over the garden.




    I hadn't considered the possibility of noise... I'll have a walk around under the wires when it's next raining.


    I've spoken with the company that owns the infrastructure and have arranged for a EMF survey. The fact that they're so quick and willing to assist is fantastic, but the cynic in me also wonders why they're so keen (stupid, I know :P )

  22. #22
    Master jukeboxs's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Gobo View Post
    When young I lived next to a load of pylons with my parents until I left home at seventeen, It had no negative effects on me
    ...
    A farmer had a herd of cows in the same field as the pylons & I never used to hear them complaining accept for when I was shooting them in the ass with my trusty old gat gun.
    Q.E.D. - don't bring your kids up next to pylons.

  23. #23
    Journeyman
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    We owned a holiday home which had power lines running across the back garden, probably 10m or so from the house. The immediate neighbour had the same arrangement and lost a son to childhood leukaemia. This could obvious be a complete coincidence (and probably is) but it made me think at the time.

    We could hear an occasional hum but only in the garden, not the house. Being a holiday home it never bothered us but I’m not sure I’d be happy if it was my regular home.

  24. #24
    Master
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    It sucks when you pull out of a house purchase because of something that arises after the initial haggling. We pulled out of one two years ago because of a legal issue that came to light when we received the legal pack and lost the cost of the survey and the legal fees up to that point. We bought another property about 100m away and see the one we nearly bought regularly. Our house doesn't have such a great aspect as the one we ended up rejecting and I wish the legal problem didn't exist so we would have bought it. But it does exist and couldn't be resolved to our satisfaction so I don't regret the waste of fees and legal costs at all.

  25. #25
    Master
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    Regardless of price, there is doubt about links with human health. For yourself, and especially for your children, is the attractive price really worth it? I am hoping that no profit could be enough if it posed or threatened a long term health risk to your kids. There are plenty of other ‘attractive’ areas you can find away from power lines. Go look.

  26. #26
    Master davida's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Gobo View Post

    A farmer had a herd of cows in the same field as the pylons & I never used to hear them complaining accept for when I was shooting them in the ass with my trusty old gat gun.
    Pr*ck


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  27. #27
    Craftsman
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    Simply run copper cables around the eaves and the inductive coupling means you'll have free lecky for ever.

  28. #28
    Master blackal's Avatar
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    I’ve checked with a building surveyor who advises that those HV lines will likely reduce values upwards of 15%, compared to similar properties without nearby cables. Proximity of steel pylons (affecting the view) - will increase that disparity.

    But - for the OP, if it is the house that ‘speaks to them’, and resale is not a primary concern, then a decent discount could add to that feeling of satisfaction.

    Any further installations would probably be buried, so at least a precedent isn’t so valid.

  29. #29
    Craftsman dixie's Avatar
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    Thanks all again for the responses it's really interesting to get a spread of opinions and some insight from people with specific experience and/or expertise.

    As noted I'll see what the results of the survey by the engineer from the grid bring and go from there.


    spareparts
    Regardless of price, there is doubt about links with human health. For yourself, and especially for your children, is the attractive price really worth it? I am hoping that no profit could be enough if it posed or threatened a long term health risk to your kids. There are plenty of other ‘attractive’ areas you can find away from power lines. Go look.
    Apologies if I didn't make my position clear, and if I've somehow upset you. Have a nice evening.

  30. #30
    Master chrisb's Avatar
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    When I worked on the A13/A405 interchange in Barking, my caravan was directly below the High voltage transmission lines, possibly within 6m.
    There was a hum at times, but the main problem was with fluorescent tubes, the ones on the ceiling of both the van and the site office would flicker when switched off, and even if not actually in the fitting.

  31. #31
    Craftsman
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    My son and his girlfriend were looking to by a new build in a similar situation, it was one of the last ones available on the development. The mortgage advisor said that they would get a mortgage but they should consider the future value of the property and how saleable it would be. Also if that in the fullness of time there were definite health risks linked to EMR the house would be virtually worthless. They moved on and found another place

  32. #32
    Master hhhh's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by magpie215 View Post
    Lol....reminded me of this.
    Is that in Watford?

  33. #33
    My wife grew up in a cul de sac with pylons running over it. Out of the 8 properties 3 residents developed and sadly died of motor neurones disease.

    It is probably pure coincidence but the odds don’t seem right of that many people getting the disease out of so few people.

    Ross

  34. #34
    “Where there is doubt, there is no doubt” .. especially where your children are concerned.(apologies for the pop culture quote , but I think it’s applicable here.
    Last edited by I AM LATE!; 17th May 2022 at 22:33.

  35. #35
    Master
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    Definitely avoid!!

    There will be a wayleaves in place for the tower line and that pic you put up is a single circuit line. If for what ever reason the network needed to upgrade to dual circuit (3 arms on each side) then bigger towers will be built with twice as many cables.

    Also not 100% but they could probably run underground cables within that wayleaves also (maybe).

  36. #36
    Master
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ashtons99 View Post
    Also if that in the fullness of time there were definite health risks linked to EMR the house would be virtually worthless. They moved on and found another place
    This would be my second biggest worry after the safety of my family and myself.

  37. #37
    Quote Originally Posted by hhhh View Post
    Is that in Watford?
    Thats what I thought when I seen that photo. If it is I believe its now been moved out of the front garden

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  38. #38
    Master
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    Quote Originally Posted by dixie View Post

    Apologies if I didn't make my position clear, and if I've somehow upset you. Have a nice evening.
    You made your position very clear, as did I. To be even considering a property on the basis that it is a good price in a nice location (apart from the health hazard doubts of the power cables!) - when there are potential known long term health risks to your children - is a different set of priorities that I would have in choosing a home property. Hence my last remark to you about alternative properties remains: go look.

  39. #39
    Quote Originally Posted by hhhh View Post
    Is that in Watford?
    On Electric Avenue?

  40. #40
    Grand Master Saint-Just's Avatar
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    I wouldn’t buy the house myself because of the constraints it would bring (including resale) but this:
    Quote Originally Posted by spareparts View Post
    - when there are potential known long term health risks to your children -
    Is not doing it for me. There can be a potential health risk but it is certainly not known.
    'Against stupidity, the gods themselves struggle in vain' - Schiller.

  41. #41
    Master blackal's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Saint-Just View Post
    I wouldn’t buy the house myself because of the constraints it would bring (including resale) but this:


    Is not doing it for me. There can be a potential health risk but it is certainly not known.
    Yes - speculation only.

    Same as the effects from mob phones against side of childs’ head. Never seen any parent taking that particular bull by the horns though.

  42. #42
    Master
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    Quote Originally Posted by dixie View Post
    Hi All,

    We're currently in the process of buying a lovely house and our survey has highlighted the presence of 132kV power lines running over the garden and in close proximity to the house (around 8m horizontal from closest point to the centre of the lines) as a concern.
    When we looked around we didn't really batter an eyelid, but since it's been flagged I've started some research and worryingly noted some possible links to childhood leukaemia (we have a son <6 months). I understand that there's no direct link between non-ionising radiation and cell damage/cancers, but lots of articles dismiss the dangers EMF and current effect and then say "but housing shouldn't be closer that 50m from high voltage lines". On top of that I'd also be in a garden office 5 days a week directly under the lines.

    As with most things there's a mix of information out there and I'm struggling to find a black and white answer (if one exists).

    Does anyone have any experience with a situation like this or work in the high voltage field (excuse the pun)?
    No,

    The fact you are asking, say no more.

  43. #43
    Master
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    A lad I cycle with son bought a new house off plan. They only look at the site layout eg where drives would be and didnt realise his property is probably 20 m from power lines.
    On challenging the builders they were given a one off payment , £5k from memory. That tells me the builders know there will be an issue when they come to sell.

    Potential health risks aside I feel its peoples perception of power lines that is an issue. Your EMF survey may come back negative, but if and when you decide to sell you will be up against perception.

    I note you say you dont plan to move again , but life throws many things at us and long terms plans often change eg move to older relatives/ jobs/ closer to offspring etc. If it was me it would be a no.

  44. #44
    Grand Master Dave+63's Avatar
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    The silver thing in the centre of the picture is a pylon. They built the house around it almost.

  45. #45
    Grand Master Saint-Just's Avatar
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    Can you fly a quadcopter near power lines?
    'Against stupidity, the gods themselves struggle in vain' - Schiller.

  46. #46
    Grand Master hogthrob's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by blackal View Post
    Any further installations would probably be buried, so at least a precedent isn’t so valid.
    I was wondering about buried cables, which are obviously used in urban areas. Is there less EM radiation compared to overhead lines?

  47. #47
    Master
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    Quote Originally Posted by chrisparker View Post
    On Electric Avenue?
    Bravo!

  48. #48
    I think you should go for it, there could be health risks, or one of your kids could be the next superhero.

  49. #49
    Master
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    Quote Originally Posted by chrisparker View Post
    I think you should go for it, there could be health risks, or one of your kids could be the next superhero.
    Or supervillain…



  50. #50
    Craftsman
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    The proximity of these power lines would be enough for me to look elsewhere.

    It’s like that little mark on your watch, it may not really matter, but your eyes are forever drawn to it.

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