A wind farm company is bringing a legal test case expected to set a precedent on how much protection stately homes and historic sites have from people wanting to build turbines.
The wife of Ed Miliband, the Labour leader, is representing the company in the case that could lead to hundreds of turbines being built close to heritage sites.
Justine Thornton, a barrister specialising in environmental law, is advising Barnwell Manor Wind Energy, which wants to build four 400ft-high turbines on land in Northamptonshire belonging to the Duke of Gloucester, the Queen’s cousin.
The case is being watched closely by the wind-power industry and is expected to set a precedent on how much protection heritage sites have from turbines, The Times reported.
The case, to be heard at the Court of Appeal on January 23, is against the National Trust, English Heritage and East Northamptonshire Council, which jointly won a landmark High Court ruling against the turbines last year.
The farm would overshadow Lyveden New Bield, a Grade I-listed, unfinished Elizabethan lodge and moated garden, the trust has warned. The turbines would be erected less than a mile away.
Simon Thurley, chief executive of English Heritage, has said the effect on the site would be “appalling”.
However, an appeal prepared by Ms Thornton and Gordon Nardell, QC, argues the High Court was wrong to overrule a planning inspector’s decision in favour of the wind farm.
Paul Griffiths, the inspector, has been nicknamed “Inspector Blight” by campaigners against wind farms after approving turbines in 19 of the 22 cases he has heard since May 2009, overturning decisions made by local councillors.
The Duke of Gloucester’s estate could make £120,000 a year in rental fees from the turbines, the newspaper reported.
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