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SNC Takes its Fight Against Wind Farm to the High Court

September 13th, 2012

Wind FarmSouth Northamptonshire Council (SNC) has submitted a legal challenge to the High Court against the Spring Farm Ridge wind farm. The council believes building five huge wind turbines on land to the north of Welsh Lane between Helmdon and Greatworth would have a major impact on the landscape and many heritage assets that fall within 5km of the proposed site.

After planning permission was initially refused by SNC, the development was given consent on appeal in July this year. Now, the Council has started legal proceedings under sections 66 and 72 of the Planning (Listed Buildings and Conservation Areas) Act 1990.

Councillor Stephen Clarke, chairman of SNC’s development control committee, said:  

“Wind energy is important but it has to be in the right place and should not have a negative impact on the community or the countryside... It is our view that the Inspector disregarded the local landscape policies that protect our heritage... We believe that the Inspector did not follow the provision of the law when considering the balance between heritage and renewable energy, and failed to have special regard for the desirability of preserving the listed buildings and conservation areas which the law requires.”

The Background

  • The developer, Broadview Energy, originally submitted the Spring Farm Ridge wind farm planning application – for five wind turbines plus underground cabling, meteorological mast, access tracks, control building and temporary site compound and ancillary development – on November 1, 2010.
  • South Northamptonshire Council rejected the planning application on June 30, 2011.
  • Broadview Energy lodged an appeal with the government’s Planning Inspectorate on December 30, 2011 and a public inquiry (lasting eight days) began the following May 15. The decision to uphold the planning appeal was made on July 12.
  • Section 66 of the Planning (Listed Buildings and Conservation Areas) Act 1990 states that there must be special regard to the desirability of preserving the setting of a listed building in the area.
  • Section 72 of the Planning (Listed Buildings and Conservation Areas) Act 1990 states that special attention must be paid to the desirability of preserving or enhancing the character or appearance of the area.
  • SNC submitted its legal challenge to the High Court on August 22.


Photograph by Brian Robert Marshall, used under the Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 2.0 licence

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