In his letter to the Gazette (July 16), Mr Stan Dibble, says two North Devon Council councillors told him the barrister for the judicial review of the Fullabrook Windfarm planning application was “confident”. Perhaps Mr Dibble would like to name those councillors.
The decision by North Devon Council to refuse the application was a legal decision. There were no planning reasons to overturn the officers’ recommendation of refusal. Thus the decision was in accordance with the Planning Act of the 1990 Conservative Government. The applicant, under the same Act, had the right of appeal and did so. The planning inspector overturned the NDC refusal. This was a legitimate action under the 1990 Act, as NDC’s legal department was well aware. The only way to challenge this decision was by way of judicial review. The legal department and the councillors should also have been aware that the chance of a judicial review being successful was very slim indeed. The council itself had defended judicial reviews over the years and I cannot think of one that has succeeded in overturning a legitimate decision. Of course, even if it had been successful then the council might have been forced to pay compensation to the developer.
There can be no doubt that on shore windfarms change the look of the countryside but even more worrying is the fact that when the the windfarms are gone, the land will be classed as “industrial” and thus open to virtually any development.
So, come on Stan, “name and shame”.
23 July 2008
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