A judicial review challenge against a decision by Pembrokeshire County Council’s planning committee to grant permission for two wind turbines to be built at Princes Gate has been lost.
Objectors mounted the legal challenge last year on two grounds.
They claimed that the officer’s report to the committee was flawed as it did not find the proposal contrary to the Local Development Plan.
They also claimed that the Environmental Impact Assessment Screening Opinion was defective.
However, at the High Court in Cardiff last week, Judge Hickenbottom backed the council’s handling of the application.
Dismissing the first ground, Judge Hickenbottom noted that in assessing the potential impact on the historic environment, the committee report had been prepared with ‘patent care’ and that it weighed and balanced the competing policies within the plan.
He also dismissed the second ground.
In refusing the claim, the Judge made an order of costs in favour of the council and refused the claimants leave to appeal.
Princes Gate Spring Water applied for permission to build two 800kw wind turbines at Middleton Top, near Ludchurch.
The planning committee agreed to the development in May last year on the basis that the benefits in terms of the contribution to the generation of renewable energy outweighed any adverse impacts.
Following the decision, campaigner Mary Sinclair, chairman of the Pembrokeshire branch of CPRW, said that residents were “devastated to lose their long and costly battle” against the turbines
She said homes only 400m from the site would have direct views of the turbines from their living rooms, bedrooms and amenity areas.
“The turbines will dominate residents’ lives,” she stressed.
“Residents have previously supported Princes Gate Spring Water and their investment in renewable energy and requested that they locate their turbines on ground they own, adjacent to their water bottling plant.
“The only response from the planners was to pretend that residents wanted the turbines in the factory car park.”
Dave and Isabel Scourfield, of the Belle Vue Equestrian Centre, were also devastated by the decision, explained Mrs. Sinclair.
“They have tried to habituate their highly strung competition horses to wind turbines, but failed, leaving their horses disturbed and frightened and their riders in danger,” she said.
“Horses from this small centre have previously enjoyed national and international success. As the turbines will overlook their entire holding, and are located only 200m from fields in which they break in and train them, their business is now in jeopardy.
“The developers themselves highlighted the extent of the shadow impact from the blades on Belle Vue fields and explained the special problems that moving shadows on the ground cause to horses. Yet the planning authority has set no condition to protect the centre, nor was any background noise monitoring undertaken there, nor at any other home directly affected by the development.”
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