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Approved wind turbines application is overturned

A previously approved plan to put two wind turbines in the green belt has been overturned by Wakefield Council and will now go to the High Court.

Plans for two 46m high turbines at Haw Top, Woolley were approved by the council’s highways and planning committee in December.

Objectors had lodged a legal challenge to the scheme by York-based developers Arcus Renewable Energy and last Friday (22nd March) learned they had been successful.

The case will automatically go to the High Court.

Objectors Coun Mark Willis, Coun Carol Robson, Ms Ruth Sheard and Richard Dixon set up an action group to fight the application.

“We’re very relieved,” said Mr Dixon, 50. “It would have had a dramatic effect on house prices and was possibly the worst position for a site as it would have been seen for miles around as it’s at its highest point.”

They had argued that Arcus did not participate in any public consultations prior to submitting their plans with many hearing about it in a newspaper.

Ninety individual letters of objections were made and Woolley Parish Council, Woolley Village Residents’ Association and Barnsley Council also objected. No letters of support were received.

“We’ll fight any future proposals for inappropriate developments in the green belt around our village,” added Mr Dixon.

“No-one should get the impression that they can drop into our community, devalue our properties and diminish the standard and quality of the lives of residents just for their own commercial gain.”

Echoing Mr Dixon’s relief, Carol Robson, 60, of Woolley Grange, said: “The site’s at a high point so visually it would have been a towering eyesore. The noise would have been terrible and wasn’t worth it as it was economically unviable – I’m very relieved.”

Additional information:

• The Action Group approached leading environmental lawyers, Richard Buxton & Co. along with Richard Harwood QC to prepare a Pre-Action Protocol Letter and send it to Wakefield Council and Arcus

• The council conceded on two grounds fully; failure to consult The Coal Authority (the site is in a high risk area) and attaching an unlawful condition to the consent concerning off site works.

• The Action Group is confident it would have won on all grounds for the Judicial Review if this matter had gone to the High Court