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Wind farm defeat for council  

North Devon Council has expressed its disappointment at the High Court’s refusal to uphold its challenge against a decision to build 22 giant wind turbines at Fullabrook Down.

The setback could lead to England’s biggest on-shore wind farm being up and running by 2010.

At the High Court on Tuesday, the Council’s legal team challenged the way factors such as noise, landscape and policy were considered in the decision following from the original Public Inquiry.

Leader of North Devon Council Mike Harrison said: “We took the route we felt was right to ensure the well being of the people of North Devon and the countryside. This was an important point of principle and was not a decision we at the Council took lightly.

He said the council would be considering all its options.

The Council is expecting the judge to hand down his formal decision on Friday morning with his reasons.

Earlier this year North Devon Council decided to seek a full judicial review against the Secretary of State’s decision to grant planning permission for a 66-megawatt wind farm at Fullabrook Down.

His decision to grant planning permission for the development at Fullabrook Down followed a Public Inquiry held between November 2006 and January 2007.

During the Inquiry, North Devon Council argued strongly that the impact the development would have on the local landscape, the lives of those living in the area, the attractiveness of the area to visitors and local tourism far out weighed any benefits.

In the High Court on Tuesday, Mr Justice Sullivan dismissed the council’s assertion that the impact the 22, 110-metre high turbines would have on the environment outweighed the benefits they would provide.

North Devon Lib-Dem MP Nick Harvey said he was very disappointed at the decision.

“I fear it will make opposing any of the other projects in the area increasingly difficult,” he said.

But Green Party councillor Ricky Knight said the decision to allow Fullabrook to go ahead was long overdue.

“I was extremely critical of North Devon District Council and Devon County Council for fighting this at a public inquiry,” he said.

26 June 2008


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