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Dismissal of plans for Big Field Wind Farm ‘will be a huge sigh of relief’ for local people, says MP

The Conservative MP Scott Mann said he is ‘delighted’ the High Court has dismissed proposals to build a wind farm near Week St Mary.

The MP for North Cornwall said Good Energy’s appeal with the High Court was ‘dismissed by judges’ on May 25.

Good Energy first submitted plans for 11 wind turbines, also known as the ‘Big Field Wind Farm’, at Creddacott Farm to Cornwall Council in 2014.

The plans were refused by the local authority with the developer then appealing this decision.

The appeal involved a public inquiry, which was held in Launceston between April and May 2016 where members of the public were able to submit statements in favour of or against the proposals.

This appeal was dismissed by the then Communities Secretary Sajid Javid on July 26 2017.

Good Energy then applied to the High Court for judicial review to try and overturn the decision, prompting Mr Mann to write to Good Energy asking the developer ‘to withdraw their legal action in the High Court’.

During a public inquiry conducted by the Planning Inspectorate, Mr Mann lodged his objections to the wind farm, saying that it would have a ‘negative impact on the environment and that the developer should respect the decision by Cornwall planners as well as the will of local people’.

There was opposition from the local community, including the group Communities Against Rural Exploitation (CARE), which has campaigned for more than five years to prevent the development.

CARE chairman, Richard Sowerby, said: “We are of course delighted by this decision. This proposal has caused anguish and worry for local residents over the last five years. We are very grateful to the many people who have steadfastly worked together to oppose Big Field Wind Farm, a development the Planning Inspector rightly described as ‘an incongruous presence of significant scale, in terms of wind turbine height, and the spread of the array, in many views inland from the AONB and Heritage Coast.”

Jeremy Ward, CARE committee member and chair of Week St Mary Parish Council, added: “In theory, the developer can apply for a further hearing in the Supreme Court. Given that their proposals and claims have now been refused by Cornwall Council, the Planning Inspector, the Secretary of State and the High Court, we hope they will accept the realities of the situation and put an end to the misery they have caused local people.”

Welcoming the High Court’s decision, Mr Mann said: “I’m delighted that the High Court has dismissed this appeal by Good Energy and that the will of local people has prevailed.

“The proposed wind farm was heavily scrutinised by local planners and the Planning Inspectorate, and I was astounded that even after a drawn out inquiry which ended with the Secretary of State rejecting the proposals, Good Energy decided to appeal it in the courts.

“I know this decision will be a huge sigh of relief for the people of Week St Mary and all those in North Cornwall who care about protecting our countryside and beautiful landscape.”

The Post has contacted Good Energy’s press office for comment.