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Mr Steve Malloy
Renewable Development Co Ltd
The Long Barn, Waen Farm
Flintshire CH7 4EW
2 March 2006
Dear Mr Malloy
ELECTRICITY ACT 1989
TOWN AND COUNTRY PLANNING ACT 1990
APPLICATION FOR CONSENT TO CONSTRUCT AND OPERATE A WIND TURBINE GENERATING STATION AT WHINASH, NEAR TEBAY, CUMBRIA
1. THE APPLICATION
1.1 I am directed by the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry (“the Secretary of State”) to refer to the application dated 23 September 2003 by Chalmerston Wind Power Limited for the consent under section 36 of the Electricity Act 1989 (“section 36 consent”) to construct and operate a wind turbine generating station with a capacity of up to 67.5 MW at Whinash, near Tebay in the County of Cumbria (“the Development”), and for a direction under section 90(2) of the Town and Country Planning Act 1990 (“section 90 direction”) that planning permission for the Development be deemed to be granted.
II. PUBLIC INQUIRIES
2.1 Following objections from the relevant planning authorities, the Cumbria County Council, the Eden District Council and the Lake District National Park Authority, to the application, the Secretary of State was obliged to cause a public inquiry to be held under Schedule 8 to the Electricity Act 1989 into the application. In addition an application was made under section 194 of the Law of Property Act 1925 to the Secretary of State for the Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, to use common land affected by the construction of the proposed wind farm. The section 194 application was also objected to and both Secretaries of State agreed that concurrent inquiries should be held.
2.2 On 27 October 2004 the then Secretary of State, with the agreement of her colleague the Secretary of State for the Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, appointed Mr David Rose, BA(Hons), MRTPI, FRSA (“the Inspector”) and Mr Christopher White, BSc(Hons), DipTP, MRTPI (“Planning Officer”) to hold the concurrent public inquiries on their behalf.
2.3 The public inquiries were held at the Shap Wells Hotel, Cumbria on 27 days between 19 April 2005 to 17 June 2005. The Inspector submitted his report of the public inquiries on 3 February 2006, a copy of which is attached.
2.4 The Secretary of State accepts the Inspector’s findings on the section 36 application. He agrees with the Inspector’s conclusions that the Whinash site is an important and integral part of a far reaching landscape which is highly sensitive to change and that the adverse environmental impacts of the Development would conflict with the aims of Planning Policy Statement 22 which is, in part, to minimise the impacts of wind generation and to achieve environmental safeguards. He also agrees with the Inspector’s conclusion that the environmental harm to this particular landscape outweighs the benefits of securing renewable energy at the Whinash site. The Secretary of State therefore accepts, taking account of the further comments below, the Inspector’s recommendation that consent be refused. The Secretary of State for the Environment, Food and Rural Affairs will be issuing her decision on the section 194 application separately.
III. DEVELOPMENTS SINCE THE PUBLIC INQUIRIES CLOSED
3.1 The Inspector closed the inquiries on 17 June 2005 and has reported on the basis of the evidence he received before that date. The Secretary of State has to consider whether anything has occurred since that date which is material to any decision he may make on the granting of the section 36 consent.
3.2 The Secretary of State has received further letters of objections and support from individuals and organisations. He is of the opinion that all the matters raised were considered fully at the public inquiries and taken into account by the Inspector in his Report. He is not aware of any further developments which could be considered material to his decision.
IV. SECRETARY OF STATE’S DECISION ON THE APPLICATION
4.1 The Secretary of State, having carefully considered the Inspector’s Report, the views of the relevant planning authorities, the objections received, other representations made to him by various bodies, the
environmental information and all other matters he considers relevant, has decided to refuse to grant section 36 consent or issue a section 90 direction for the Development.