Communities secretary Sajid Javid has refused an application for a wind farm in Cornwall after agreeing with an inspector that the scheme’s ‘extensive and weighty’ benefits would not outweigh harm to heritage assets and it would breach local planning policy.
Good Energy Generation Ltd had its application for up to 11 turbines on land at Creddacott Farm, near the village of Week St Mary, rejected by Cornwall Council in 2014 and appealed the decision.
The appeal was recovered by the then communities secretary Greg Clark in July 2015. Yesterday his successor, Sajid Javid, ruled in favour of the council’s decision.
The decision letter said Javid agreed with the inspector’s advice that “the public benefits of the proposal are insufficient to justify the harm to the significance of the designated heritage assets that would be caused”.
The letter said that Javid agreed with the inspector that the wind farm would breach three policies in the Cornwall Local Plan on renewable energy and the preservation of the county’s natural environment, as well as one local plan policy saved from the 1999 North Cornwall Local Plan aimed at protecting the countryside and landscape character.
Javid acknowledged that the scheme would “help combat climate change”, could “act as a model for other renewable energy projects” and promised “extensive and weighty” benefits. However, he concluded that planning permission should be refused.
The wind turbines, the letter said, “would be an incongruous presence of significant scale”. It also referred to the written ministerial statement from June 2015 requiring plans for wind turbines to only be approved if they have community backing.
Javid agreed with the inspector that “the planning impacts identified by affected local communities have not been addressed and, as a result, the proposal does not have the backing of the local community”.
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