Wind farms, or even a proposed planning application for a wind farm, can bring down the value of nearby property, claims a new report from the Royal Institute of Chartered Surveyors.

The survey shows that 60% of surveyors found the farms bring down house prices, with 67% of surveyors indicating that the negative impact begins as soon as a planning application is submitted.

Surveyors cited the visual impact of wind farms as the biggest threat to property prices, with the fear of blight also a major factor.

This is the first concrete evidence of the negative effect of wind farms on residential property, and reflects the worries many feel about the impact the turbines have on the countryside.

RICS chief economist Milan Khatri said: ?The UK?s onshore wind farm industry is young, but argument over its impact on the landscape, wider environment and the effect on property prices has been heated.

?Our survey shows a clear majority who find that a wind farm nearby suppresses house prices. But with 40% finding no negative impact, it would be premature to say that wind farms represent a long-term threat to house prices. We will have to wait to see how the market reacts in the longer term. It is clear that more research will be needed in due course.?

Meanwhile, plans to build the UK?s largest onshore wind farm have been submitted by Amec, the engineering company, and British Energy.

The plans, which have been vehemently opposed by the RSPB, detail more than 200 turbines up to 140 metres tall, to be built on the Isle of Lewis in western Scotland, in an area protected for its wildlife and peatland.