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Rhoscrowther wind farm judicial review dismissed

A High Court attempt to obtain a judicial review to overturn a planning inspector’s decision to uphold a refusal for five 328 foot high wind turbines on land next to the Valero Refinery has been dismissed.

On February 4, Planning Inspector Alwyn Nixon dismissed the Appeal by Rhoscrowther Windfarm Ltd against the refusal by Pembrokeshire County Council (PCC) for the 12.5megawatt windfarm on land at Rhoscrowther following the inquiry in autumn 2015.

Pembrokeshire County Council had refused consent for the turbines and associated works in January 2015 on the basis of the impact on the National Park and on the local historic landscape.

The turbines, if granted, would have been the largest rural windfarm constructed in the county.

Following the public inquiry, Rhoscrowther Wind Farm Ltd applied to obtain a Judicial Review of the Inspector’s decision.

At the High Court of Justice Queen’s Bench Division the appeal was refused on April 21 by Mr Justice Coulson, describing it as “an illegitimate attempt to question the Inspector’s findings of fact and to reopen the planning decision”.

Rhoscrowther Wind Farm Ltd stated the proposal, in the enterprise zone area was relevant as it was an energy-related development, and raised issues about the Supplementary Planning Guidance (SPG) issued by Pembrokeshire coast National Park.

It also challenged the public inquiry finding that the turbines would pose ‘substantial harm’ to the setting of the nearby Grade 1 St Decumanus Church.

The Judge said this was unarguable and stated that they were attempting to “go behind the inspector’s findings of fact”.

Chairman of the Pembrokeshire Branch of CPRW Mary Sinclair said: “At every stage the scheme had been opposed by local community councils, the Angle Action Group and CPRW Pembrokeshire Branch; was refused consent by county councillors on the advice of Pembrokeshire County Council planners; was opposed by the adjacent national park; and was then rejected at the public inquiry in autumn 2015.

“CPRW and local residents now hope that they now have some peace from these applicants. The Angle peninsula already hosts two solar farms, an oil refinery and an LNG-fired power station, as its contribution to the energy port of Milford Haven.”