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Wind farm legal challenge thrown out of the High Court  

Credit:  The Herald, www.thisisplymouth.co.uk 20 August 2010 ~~

The High Court has thrown out the latest legal challenge to plans for a wind farm in the heart of Devon.

A judge in London dismissed a case brought by campaigner Mike Hulme over the grant of planning permission for nine turbines in the Den Brook Valley, near Crediton.

Mr Hulme, of Coxmoor, Spreyton, Crediton, hoped that Deputy High Court Judge Frances Patterson QC would allow his judicial review and quash the planning permission. But the judge yesterday rejected all ten grounds of challenge.

Mr Hulme said it was too early to say how he would take his case forward – but he indicated the battle was not yet over.

The decision was the latest in a long-running battle fought by Mr Hulme and other local residents over the plans for the wind farm by Renewable Energy Systems (RES).

Mr Hulme, a leading member of the Den Brook Judicial Review Group, challenged a decision of the Communities and Local Government Secretary granting permission for the wind farm, consisting of nine 120m (393ft) high turbines, on land near the villages of North Tawton and Bow.

Mr Hulme, whose home is less than a mile away from the closest proposed wind turbine, previously succeeded in having the planning permission made subject to certain conditions to control potential noise pollution.

Dismissing the action, the judge refused permission to appeal, but it is open to Mr Hulme to approach the Court of Appeal directly in a bid to take the case further.

Mr Hulme is waiting to see a transcript of the ruling, which he believes contains criticisms of the company’s plan to deal with any noise pollution which arises.

Mr Hulme fears conditions in the area are such that his home could be subjected to the rhythmic loud “thumping” sound which some who live near windfarms complain can ruin their lives.

Mr Hulme, who has lost about £100,000 in revenue because of fighting the development over six years believes he had a “strong case”, and said: “The Government guidance is very specific on noise conditions. It would appear that the judge has gone out of her way not to quash the planning permission. This thing goes on and on and on.”

Yesterday, Helen Hall, project manager for RES, said: “The decision proves that RES has been thorough and responsible in the development and design of this wind farm, to minimise any potential impacts on local people and the environment, while ensuring that it will generate significant amounts of clean, green electricity. We are also pleased to have won the support of many members of the public as well as small businesses and communities who will benefit from construction of the project. We are relieved that we can now move on and build the wind farm.

Source:  The Herald, www.thisisplymouth.co.uk 20 August 2010

This article is the work of the source indicated. Any opinions expressed in it are not necessarily those of National Wind Watch.

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