Objectors have lost their High Court bid to stop a hydroelectric power scheme on a section of the Thames which inspired Wind in the Willows.
Plans for a three-turbine development at Goring Weir, in Oxfordshire, have provoked strong opposition from some people in the area.
But the plans, which would power local homes, were given the go-ahead by South Oxfordshire District Council in March.
In a High Court challenge to the development, lawyers quoted from Kenneth Grahame’s famous book to highlight the tranquillity of the area.
In the passage, Mole is “mucking about” in a boat, listening to the pleasant sound of water lapping over a weir.
Lawyers said the council had not focused on the impact of noise on that tranquillity, which is one of the great beauties of the area.
The effect on historic buildings, including the Grade-I St Thomas Church and the Grade-II Swan Hotel, had also not been considered properly, they argued.
But in a ruling delivered at the High Court today, Mr Justice Cranston rejected the legal challenge and opened the way for the development to go ahead.
The judge, sitting in London, rejected Goring-on-Thames Parish Council’s argument that the decision to grant permission was “unreasonable”.
The court heard the scheme will see the demolition of part of the existing weir and replacement with three Archimedes screws.
The 3.5 metre screw-turbines would be visible on the lock, but gearboxes, generators and controls would be in a separate power house.
The judge criticised South Oxfordshire for not obtaining an environmental impact assessment screening opinion before granting permission.
However, in dismissing the parish council’s challenge, he said it would not have affected the result.
|Wind Watch relies entirely
on User contributions