The developer behind plans to build 12 giant wind turbines on land next to Hinkley Point nuclear power station has been told to pay £10,000 costs after taking too long to withdraw an appeal.
West Hinkley Wind Farm Ltd has been ordered to pay the money to West Somerset Council after waiting more than a year to withdraw its appeal against refusal for planning permission for the development.
The council argued it had incurred substantial preparation costs, booked a venue for the inquiry and held the pre-inquiry hearing.
Stacey Beaumont, spokesman for the council, said: “Planning appeal costs are usually borne by the relevant parties themselves regardless of outcome.
“However, under the Town and Country Planning Act 1990, the Secretary of State can award costs against an appellant or a council only on the grounds of “unreasonable” behaviour, resulting in unnecessary or wasted expense’.
“He held the appellants had a duty to proceed with their appeal responsibly or to withdraw it in good time, before the council incurred preparation costs.”
Tim Howes, chief executive of the council, said: “Preparation for major planning inquiries takes considerable officer and administration time, as well as running up stationery and postage costs.
“We’re sure local people will also be delighted as it is anticipated that this will save our council taxpayers somewhere in the region of £10,000.”
The developer has submitted an amended planning application proposing nine turbines.
By Chris Alder
4 July 2007
|Wind Watch relies entirely
on User Funding