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Wind Farm: Conservationists win court appeal

Leading conservationists have won a High Court battle against plans for a wind farm on land owned by the Queen's cousin. The conservationists had warned that if it went ahead it would have resulted in substantial harm to a heritage area "of national significance".

The High Court quashes plans to erect four 300ft turbines near ruin on land owned by the Queen's cousin in Northamptonshire.

Leading conservationists have won a High Court battle against plans for a wind farm on land owned by the Queen's cousin.

The conservationists had warned that if it went ahead it would have resulted in substantial harm to a heritage area "of national significance".

The wind farm would have been built about 2km (1.3 miles) from an unfinished but historically important Jacobean house in Northamptonshire.

English Heritage and the National Trust say the case has national implications.

They supported East Northamptonshire District Council's successful legal bid to block proposals submitted by West Coast Energy for four 300ft (91m) turbines on farmland at Barnwell Manor in Sudborough.

In 2010 the council had rejected plans for the farm submitted by West Coast Energy at Barnwell Manor, which is owned by the Queen's cousin, the Duke of Gloucester.

But the rejection was over-ruled by a public inquiry inspector who upheld the energy firm's claim that the turbines would cause "less than substantial" harm and would deliver benefits from renewable energy.

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The High Court quashes plans to erect four 300ft turbines near ruin on land owned by the Queen's cousin in Northamptonshire.

Leading conservationists have won a High Court battle against plans for a wind farm on land owned by the Queen's cousin.

The conservationists had warned that if it went ahead it would have resulted in substantial harm to a heritage area "of national significance".

The wind farm would have been built about 2km (1.3 miles) from an unfinished but historically important Jacobean house in Northamptonshire.

English Heritage and the National Trust say the case has national implications.

They supported East Northamptonshire District Council's successful legal bid to block proposals submitted by West Coast Energy for four 300ft (91m) turbines on farmland at Barnwell Manor in Sudborough.

In 2010 the council had rejected plans for the farm submitted by West Coast Energy at Barnwell Manor, which is owned by the Queen's cousin, the Duke of Gloucester.

But the rejection was over-ruled by a public inquiry inspector who upheld the energy firm's claim that the turbines would cause "less than substantial" harm and would deliver benefits from renewable energy.

Now a judge has decided that East Northamptonshire's original decision should stand and the inquiry's decision should be thrown out.

Mrs Justice Lang ruled at London's High Court that the decision to give the go-ahead was legally flawed and must be quashed.

Although the manor is owned by the Duke of Gloucester, he was not directly involved in the challenge.

The judge ruled there had been a failure by a public inquiry inspector "properly to interpret and apply the relevant planning policies on the effect of development on the setting of heritage sites, which meant that the balancing exercise was flawed".

The ruling is being regarded as an important victory by conservationists.

They were concerned over the impact the wind farm would have on local panoramic views, and in particular the setting of Lyveden New Bield, a 17th-century lodge which has one of the finest surviving examples of an Elizabethan garden in the country.
A picture showing how the win farm would affect Lyveden New Bield This picture, by campaigners, shows the impact of the wind farm on Lyveden

The conservationists had warned that if they lost the case the protection of other important historic sites around the country could be undermined.

National Trust representative Mark Bradshaw said later: "We are delighted with the outcome.

"We hope this brings to an end a five-year battle to preserve and protect the important setting of some of our most significant heritage assets.

"Lyveden is of international importance. The harm to heritage assets like Lyveden should be weighed against the benefits of wind farms."

Barnwell Manor is the historic former home of the Duke and Duchess of Gloucester and is part of the Barnwell Castle Estate. It was bought by the current Duke's father Prince Henry, the brother of George VI, in 1938 and he died there in 1974.

After his death, the estate was retained by his son Prince Richard, the current Duke of Gloucester, but his family moved out in 1994, leasing their property. The Duke and his family now live in Kensington.

It is understood that the land on which the wind farm was to be placed would have been leased by the Duke to West Coast Energy in exchange for an annual fee.

The row had the potential to cause a rift between the Duke and his cousin's son Prince Charles, the president of the National Trust and frequent opponent of intrusive wind farms.


Source: http://news.sky.com/story/1...

MAR 9 2013
https://www.windaction.org/posts/36488-wind-farm-conservationists-win-court-appeal
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