South Northamptonshire Council (SNC) has won its legal challenge in the High Court against planning permission for a wind farm on land to the north of Welsh Lane between Helmdon and Greatworth. The case went to court on 5 December 2012 and lasted one day.
The Spring Farm Ridge proposal from Broadview Energy Limited for the development of five wind turbines adjacent to a conservation area with many listed buildings was originally refused planning permission by SNC on 30 June 2011. The developers then lodged an appeal with the Secretary of State and on 12 July 2012 a Planning Inspector allowed the appeal following a public inquiry lasting eight days.
The Council claimed that there were a number of flaws in the appeal decision and succeeded in persuading the Court that the Inspector did not follow the provision of the law that requires applications to be determined in accordance with the Development Plan unless material considerations indicate otherwise. Legal proceedings were initiated under section 288 of the Town and Country Planning Act 1990 and on 22 August 2012 SNC submitted its legal challenge to the High Court.
Councillor Stephen Clarke, chairman of the development control committee, said: “The Council understands the need for alternative energy, however, wind farms can only be supported in the right locations and be subject to the same planning tests as any other development. Spring Farm Ridge is an inappropriate location and the proposed development will spoil our beautiful countryside and adversely impact the local community for future generations.
“I am delighted that our course of action – as the Local Planning Authority – has been vindicated. SNC will continue to support its local communities when they are threatened by inappropriate development”
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