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Wind farm legal challenge fails  

A bid by a farmer and environmental campaigner to block plans for a wind farm on marshland in Kent has failed.

Philip Merricks made the legal challenge arguing that the danger of birds flying into turbine blades had not been taken properly into account.

The wind farm site at Walland Marsh is close to a protection area for birds.

But Deputy High Court Judge Hamilton said the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry, Alistair Darling, had been entitled to approve the scheme.

The judge said the plans had correctly applied EU habitat regulations and had also correctly assessed the risk to bird life.

Special interest

He also said Mr Darling’s ruling that the development would cause “no harm” to the ecology of the area “could not be faulted”.

Mr Darling approved plans for the 26-turbine wind farm at Little Cheyne Court at Romney Marsh on the Kent/Sussex border last October.

Mr Merricks farms at Icklesham, Rye, East Sussex, and manages the Romney Marsh Nature Reserve, which includes the Cheyne Court Site of Special Scientific Interest (SSSI).

In 1999 he was awarded an MBE for his services to nature conservation.


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