- National Wind Watch: Wind Energy News - https://www.wind-watch.org/news -

Legal bid to ban giant windmills

Town hall bosses are considering a High Court challenge against a wind farm which was approved one day before a change in the law that could have prevented it.

Residents, councils and MPs battled for six years to prevent the dozen 400ft turbines, which overshadow villages in three counties, being built.

The scheme for the controversial windmills was approved by a planning inspector on appeal the day before major changes to planning laws came into force.

RWE npower wants to build the wind farm at Nun Wood, between the villages of Bozeat in Northamptonshire, Harrold in Bedfordshire and Lavendon in Buckinghamshire. Councils at Milton Keynes, Bedford and Wellingborough all rejected the application, which was also opposed by three local MPs and residents in all three villages.

However, the inspector ruled that the need for renewable energy outweighed the damage to the landscape.

His ruling was moved forward by three months and came just one day before the Localism Act received Royal Assent.

The Act sweeps away regionalplanning and gives local residents and councils more say over what development goes ahead in their area.

Milton Keynes MP Mark Lancaster branded the decision a “blatant slap in the face for localism”.

Brian Skittrall, chairman of protest group BLOT, said they had no money to challenge the inspector’s decision “but we hope the councils will make a challenge on our behalf”.

Although Wellingborough council has decided to drop the matter, a spokes- man for Milton Keynes council said: “All options are being considered.”

Matt Pinfield, regional manager of RWE npower renewables, said: “The Nun Wood wind farm will make a substantial contribution to clean energy supply and the reduction in emissions of greenhouse gasses.” It will provide electricity for up to 15,600 homes.