Case Law >> Wind turbine breaches local policy

10th February 2013

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Jen Hawkins and George Hobson, from LexisPSL, on a Court of Appeal case overturning permission for a wind turbine that contravened local planning policy

Jarrett v secretary of state for local government [2012] EWHC 3642 (Admin) involved an application made under section 288 of the Town and Country Planning Act 1990 to quash an inspector’s decision to allow planning permission for a 15kW wind turbine on an 18m high mast.

The inspector had found that the wind turbine would harm the landscape character and be in conflict with policy CS17 of the Shropshire core strategy, which aimed to ensure development protected both the natural and built environment.

But after examining the benefits of renewable energy generation, referring to CS6 and CS8 of the core strategy, the inspector concluded that the harm to the character and quality of the countryside were not so significant as to outweigh the benefits of the wind turbine.

The court allowed the appeal and quashed the inspector’s decision.

Policy CS8 stated that it positively encouraged infrastructure that mitigates and adapts to climate change, including decentralised, low-carbon and renewable energy generation, where it had “no significant adverse impact on recognised environmental assets”.

The High Court judge ruled that the inspector’s conclusions had been irrational on the basis that his findings could not have led to the conclusion that the development complied with CS8 due to the significant effects on the environment.

This case highlights the importance of being aware of the approach that local plans take to renewable energy in terms of the balance it strikes between its associated benefits and a development’s effect on the landscape.

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