A north Suffolk man has failed in a High Court challenge in London to overturn controversial plans for a wind turbine “taller than St Paul’s Cathedral” being built 500m from his home.
Benjamin Howell, who lives with his wife at Crake Hall, Shipmeadow, near Beccles, had asked one of the country’s top judges to quash the decision of a government planning inspector to grant planning permission for the 125m high wind turbine at nearby Laurel’s Farm.
But, while Mr Justice Cranston said that he was “troubled by a turbine which will be taller than St Paul’s in London”, he ruled that the government planning inspector who granted consent had been entitled to do so.
He found that the inspector had “carefully assessed the impact” of the turbine on the landscape of the nearby Broads, and acknowledged that some harm would be caused.
But he continued: “However, he reached an overall conclusion that it would not fail to conserve and enhance the natural beauty of the Broads. That was a matter of planning judgment and in my judgment there is no legal flaw in this regard.”
Richard Harwood QC, representing Mr Howell had told the court the proposed turbine would be close to a national park.
He claimed that the inspector who gave the go-ahead made an “error of law” in this case by misinterpreting his duty to protect the Broads from the impact of the turbine.
Mr Harwood claimed that it was irrational of the inspector not to impose a condition requiring the turbine to be operated on its quietest setting during daylight hours.
Waveney Borough Council had refused to grant planning permission on visual and landscape and noise grounds, with the proposal having been opposed by the Broads Authority, 10 town or parish councils and many local residents.
But the inspector allowed Stamford’s appeal in April.
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