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To reconsider buying a house near a pylon / sub station

(42 Posts)
Beeegcuddle Sat 26-Dec-15 17:42:33

By way of some background; my DH and I are in our late 30s and have still to buy our first home. We have a three year old DS and are really keen to make some proper roots before he starts school.

We've been renting in south west London and more recently, Surrey, for the past 8 years and have been gradually priced out of the area.

I've been working full time for the past two years and despite both earning really good salaries, high rent and childcare costs have made it almost impossible to save.

So we've decided to bite the bullet and move out to Gloucesteshire to be nearer to family for general support, to be in a nice area where houses are much more affordable than where we currently are and there are plenty of good schools that are not oversubscribed.

The plan is for DH to still work in London with a mixture of commuting and working from home. We are lucky enough to just about be able to afford to buy a 4 bed house on DH's salary with help from government help to buy scheme. This is something we've been considering for a few years now and think it's the right decision for us.

We have found a small new build development in an area we like. The houses are by far the nicest new builds we've seen in terms of layout and the price is right. However, the reason why they are probably cheaper is because the development is built on a field with electricity pylons running along side it. There is also a sub station at one end.

The plot we had thought we liked is going to be released soon and after going down to the site today, we've realised that it's around 50 m from one of the pylons, which has made me feel very uneasy. I'm now very anxious about putting an offer on the house due to potential health risks and also resell value.

From doing some brief reading this afternoon I can see that the health risk studies are inconclusive.

I guess my question is should we completely forget about this development because of the pylons even though the house and area are right for us as this time and we are unlikely to be able to afford a house as nice this as this otherwise?

Any experience of living near pylons / advice would be very much appreciated.


specialsubject Sat 26-Dec-15 17:56:08

this comes up quite a lot.

there are no proven health risks. Your house is full of e-fields anyway, you are using an internet device and so will anyone who comes along to see it.

BUT... with knowing anything about science seen as 'geeky' (especially on here) this ignorance and inability to assess risk is very widespread. So the house should be cheaper to buy and will be harder to sell. That is the problem.

the substation IS an issue if you can hear a hum, you need to decide if that will be irritating. Hard to work out when the house isn't yet built, of course.

plus the other issues with new builds; crap build quality, building on flood plains, and that your estate won't be the last so the view you have now may not last and the local facilities may not continue to cope. All this needs to be considered.

LIZS Sat 26-Dec-15 17:58:22

I wouldn't but mainly because of hum and potential interference. Agree with other potential issues with new builds, often the sites have previously been left undeveloped for a reason.

OrangeNoodle Sat 26-Dec-15 18:20:06

I thought there were guidelines published about ten years ago that advised government against the building of new homes near pylons.

As I remember the advisory group included organisations like the National Grid and the Department of Health. So not small fry.

Was this ignored or rescinded?

I wouldn't buy a house anywhere near a pylon.

Beeegcuddle Sat 26-Dec-15 18:28:06

Thanks so much for your responses - really appreciated.

The development is fairly small in comparison to others we've looked at (only 50 houses) and went through several rounds of rejection after objections from locals. Maybe this is a bit of a red flag.

The sub station is quite a way from the house, so I'm less worried about that - it's more the pylon. Beside the health risks, it's big and ugly - that's never going to change.

This is so disappointing / depressing as I thought we finally had a chance to get a foot on the property ladder with a house we loved.

LIZS Sat 26-Dec-15 18:52:44

Do you know why there were local objections? Does the same developer have other sites or completed recent developments. You may find similar houses there if so.

gamerchick Sat 26-Dec-15 19:02:05

I'm undecided. There is an elevated risk of childhood leukemia but that was the only documentary Ive watched.

Im pretty sure there is a machine that measures any harmful wotsits in each room but christ knows who offers this or if it even exists.

On a personal level I think the hum would drive me nuts aside from anything else.

PigletJohn Sat 26-Dec-15 19:27:46

50 metres is a long way. How high are the pylons? High voltage National Grid pylons are taller than lower-voltage distribution to local substations. By pylons you mean made of grey steel lattice, right? The higher voltage are more likely to hum but are not usually seen in residential areas.

Beeegcuddle Sat 26-Dec-15 19:28:19

We were down there today and there was no hum - even standing directly next to it. I'm not sure if this changes depending on weather etc.

I think local objection was based mainly around increase of traffic onto a fast rural road and loss of small village identity.

Coconutty Sat 26-Dec-15 19:34:06

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

PigletJohn Sat 26-Dec-15 19:35:56

or you could join the club

Beeegcuddle Sat 26-Dec-15 19:39:40

Yes they are the grey steel lattice ones and I guess lower voltage. Pic attached

Beeegcuddle Sat 26-Dec-15 19:40:15

Sorry attached now

TartanBirdFeeder Sat 26-Dec-15 19:46:01

There is no way I'd buy a house near a pylon or substation, I'd sooner have a smaller house elsewhere then a larger, nicer house near a pylon.

JE1234 Sat 26-Dec-15 19:49:34

National Grid publish a list of safe distances where electromagnetic fields reduce to background levels. Take a look but I would be very surprised if a new development had been granted planning permission at an unsafe distance.

PigletJohn Sat 26-Dec-15 19:49:48

All houses are near substations. Some of them (e.g. isolated houses in the country) have small pole-mounted transformers.

gamerchick Sat 26-Dec-15 20:21:35

I can hear the hum. But I can hear the hum of all electrical stuff switched on in a room when I'm trying to sleep. I certainly can hear the crackle from a pylon when walking under it.

It's your call. Breathing in gives you cancer these days. Fuck the pylons.

doceodocere Sat 26-Dec-15 20:24:33

I wouldn't, mainly for aesthetic reasons. But I'm fussy.

SurferJet Sat 26-Dec-15 20:29:03

Absolutely no way I'd buy the house. & like above poster, purely because they look so ugly!
I'd honestly rather live near an airport or motorway

Palomb Sat 26-Dec-15 20:30:04

I wouldn't but I have very sensitive hearing and the hum would drive me potty. Also, pylons are also seriously ugly and I'd hate to be able to see one from my garden or windows. That view would posted would make me sad everytime I saw it.

The health stuff wouldn't really worry me.. It's never been proved anyway, has it.

Guiltypleasures001 Sat 26-Dec-15 20:36:34

I wouldn't I can hear the hums and get headaches from such things, overall it's the re sale question years from now, I wouldn't buy near a pylon op sorry.

Beeegcuddle Sat 26-Dec-15 20:37:59

That isn't the view from the plot we're looking at. But yes agree it's ugly. It's a slightly deceiving photo as its open countyside underneath and beyond.

Beeegcuddle Sat 26-Dec-15 20:40:02

I think we'll be better going back into rented for now. We are committed to moving now and it will be good to get to know the area properly before buying, I guess. Thanks all.

Madcats Sat 26-Dec-15 21:09:41

I only know one friend who lived within about 25m of a pilot growing up; she still seems fine in her fifties.

I'm not sure where you are looking to buy, but I would consider whether you are on a flood plain. The South-west got lucky this winter.

I think another big challenge is to assess how "do-able" the planned commute for your husband might be. Is he planning to drive into Swindon or Cheltenham? Is it important for him to get to scheduled meetings? It's okay to allow an extra hour to get to meetings once in a while but not every morning. GWR are busy trying to electrify the line between London and the south-west so that will disrupt things for a few years, I imagine, but it is well publicised.

Most people I know on my "90 minute" commute into Paddington either seem to rent/stay in town 2-3 days/week or abandon the idea and work more locally after 3-4 years. Can you afford a house if you both work locally?

Beeegcuddle Sat 26-Dec-15 21:22:41

Madcats - we're planning for DH to stay in London 2 nights a week (his mother lives there) and to work from home mid-week to break it up. His current commute is a good 90 minutes from where we are in Surrey. He'll be travelling from Kemble or Swindon and his office is in Paddington.

We have to give something a go as things will never change in our current situation.

As for the flood plains - we've done some checks and this particular area is historically okay.

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