A planning inspector has rejected an appeal to build a wind turbine in Devon after the applicant held a consultation “down the pub”.
Plans for the 15-metre high turbine at Eastlake Farm in Dolton, near Winkleigh, were originally submitted by Simon Paine back in December 2018.
38 people objected to the plans citing visual impact, a lack of economic benefit for the area and a ‘conflict’ with the local plan as their reasons.
The application was refused by Torridge District Council’s planners in April last year, but was taken to appeal with the Planning Inspectorate by Mr Paine.
However, last week the appeal was thrown out by the inspectorate for being invalid – with one of the main issues being the applicant’s definition of a public consultation.
In a letter last week, Inspector Philip James said: “In the opinion of the Inspector, a discussion with two neighbours in a pub is inadequate and falls considerably short of meeting the provisions of the GDPO/compliance with section 61W(1) of the 1990 Act.”
Mr James said that both the application and the appeal were “invalid” and that no further action would be taken on the appeal.
The Devon branch of the Campaign to Protect Rural England (CPRE) said they were delighted with the decision.
A spokesman said: “Many members of CPRE Devon objected to the application and the charity assisted in the writing of an appeal statement.
“The main reason for objection was that the application fell foul of the Joint North Devon & Torridge Local Plan and the National Planning Policy Framework (NPPF).
“However, we were highly amused that the Planning Inspector turned down the appeal because a proper consultation is required by planning law and ‘a discussion with two neighbours in a pub is inadequate’.”
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