Company takes Dales turbine fight to High Court
Credit: By Lesley Tate, Senior Reporter | Craven Herald & Pioneer | 14th August 2014 | www.cravenherald.co.uk ~~
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The company behind rejected plans to build three wind turbines on a Dales hillside has appealed to the High Court.
Just over a month after a government planning inspector rejected its appeal to put up three 320ft turbines at Brightenber Hill, near Gargrave, it has asked the High Court to overrule the decision.
If the High Court decides EnergieKontor has grounds it will set a hearing date, with a decision taking anything up to a year.
Last month’s decision by the Planning Inspectorate to refuse EnergieKontor’s application was the second time a scheme for the same site had been rejected.
The latest decision, which took more than a year to be made, concluded that the impact on nearby farms and to the landscape and setting of listed buildings was greater than the benefits of a scaled down renewable energy project.
Wind turbine proposals for the site have now been rejected twice by planners at Craven District Council and twice by planning inspectors.
Justin Reid, Energiekontor project manager, said it had reviewed the latest Planning Inspectorate decision and the process followed by the inspector.
“We believe the current inspector’s approach to assessment is not consistent with the previous inspector when considered with aspects of the decision-making process and have therefore decided to challenge the decision,” he said.
“This current inspector’s decision disagrees with some of the findings of the last government inspector, which is disappointing given that we had followed a design process that resulted in the removal of one of the turbines considered previously inappropriate.
“The remaining turbines are located in their original positions, which have now been assessed by several planners and years of environmental work for the site.”
He added: “The positive results of those environmental surveys, as well as officer recommendations for approval, strongly suggests that this is an appropriate location for a three-turbine site, and perhaps more so, now that Craven’s previous renewable energy site at Chelker has been decommissioned. ”
Campaign group the Friends of Craven Landscape said it was bitterly disappointed.
“During a public exhibition at Coniston Cold, Energiekontor’s management promised that if a second appeal failed, the company would not pursue the application further,” said its spokesman, Chris Emmett.
“We are bitterly disappointed that this developer has yet again broken its promise to the community.
“Two planning committees and two planning inspectors have told Energiekontor that Brightenber Hill is the wrong place for a wind farm. The message is clear – it’s time for (the company) to honour its promises and call it a day.”
A spokesman for Craven District Council said: “The council can confirm that it has received papers from Energie Kontor UK seeking an Order of the High Court to quash the Planning Inspector’s decision dated July 3.”
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