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Clocaenog wind farm fight could go to European Court of Justice as campaigner refuses to give up  

Credit:  Michael Williams says his fight for a judicial review into siting of turbines continues | By Jez Hemming | Daily Post | 17 May 2015 | www.dailypost.co.uk ~~

The European Court of Justice could be the setting for the next round in the fight against a large wind farm being built in North Wales.

Campaigner Michael Williams had sought a judicial review against a decision to allow RWE Innogy UK to erect up to 32, 145m high turbines in Clocaenog Forest.

However, earlier this month a High Court judge ruled his application was a day late.

In the latest twist in the saga Mr Williams has now applied to appeal the ruling to clear the way for the judicial review he seeks.

He is challenging former Energy Secretary Ed Davey’s decision last September to approve the development.

Mr Williams, a former executive director of both the Royal Exchange Theatre, Manchester, and Theatr Clwyd, Mold told the Daily Post: “We have applied for permission to appeal.

“In some ways I am dismayed, as until such time as this issue is sorted out there is no decision on whether the Secretary of State’s decision to back the planning application was legal.

“I should think we will get a decision on whether we can appeal relatively quickly.

“That’s not necessarily the end of the road. We could approach the Court of Appeal directly.

“Because it is a European issue it could be taken to the European Court.”

Mr Williams said it took developers RWE two months to pick up on the late submission.

He said in European law the clock only starts ticking for appellants when they receive notification of a ruling.

Mr Williams said: “Here you have six weeks to file the application from the date of the decision.

“You have to analyse the decision and that takes time. Working with a group is never easy.

“Legal opinion comes in – you then have to go back and debate and I was left with a day to make a decision.

“The judge has ruled in strict legal terms, in UK terms, I was one day late.”

Mr Williams maintains he has sympathy with environmental causes but said he believed it was time for proper debate about how to tackle carbon emissions, rather than just “bulldozing” legislation through.

He said: “Let’s reduce the use of fossil fuels but let’s do it in the way it’s most efficient.

“Our need for energy is extreme and there needs to be a debate about the best way of providing it for the future.”

A spokesperson for RWE Innogy UK said: “We are aware a claim was made against the decision made by the Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change and a High Court decision was made to deny the legal challenge.”

Source:  Michael Williams says his fight for a judicial review into siting of turbines continues | By Jez Hemming | Daily Post | 17 May 2015 | www.dailypost.co.uk

This article is the work of the source indicated. Any opinions expressed in it are not necessarily those of National Wind Watch.

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