English Heritage is on a collision course with its former deputy chairman, the Duke of Gloucester, over plans to build wind turbines on his estate at Barnwell in Northamptonshire.
The four 126.5-metre turbines, which have just received planning approval, are close to one of the National Trust’s most iconic properties, Lyveden New Bield, which was previously described by the planning inspector as “probably the finest surviving example of an Elizabethan garden, with a cultural value of national if not international significance”.
Both English Heritage and the National Trust have condemned the scheme, which stands to make a lot of money for the Duke, 67, who is a first cousin of the Queen.
As a professional architect and one of the harder-working royals, he has previously had a good reputation on environmental matters.
“I won’t say anything about him – but in general it is tragic that even historic sites are no longer protected from the curse of turbine subsidies,” says Sir Simon Jenkins, chairman of the National Trust. “The Lyveden decision sets an appalling precedent for turbines now proposed next to Hardwick Hall and round national parks.”
Local Tory MP Louise Mensch will lobby the minister responsible, Eric Pickles.
Meanwhile, James Delingpole, author of Watermelons, How Environmentalists are Killing the Planet, Destroying the Economy and Stealing your
Children’s Future, says: “I thought members of the royal family were in the business of preserving Britain’s heritage, not destroying it.”
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