Wind farm Woodlane

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The realisation that planning was getting it wrong

"There was—how can I put it?—a disgraceful, vulgar, disrespectful, terrible, shameful, contemptible, detestable, dishonourable, disreputable, ignoble, mean, offensive, scandalous, shabby, shady, shocking, shoddy, unworthy, deplorable, awful, calamitous, dire, disastrous, distressing, dreadful, faulty, grim, horrifying, lamentable, lousy, mournful, pitiable, regrettable, reprehensible, rotten, sad, sickening, tragic, woeful, wretched, abhorrent, abominable, crass, despicable, inferior, odious, unworthy, atrocious, heinous, loathsome, revolting, scandalous, squalid, tawdry, cowardly, opprobrious, insulting, malevolent, scurrilous and basically stinkingly poor decision of the Planning Inspectorate to approve the Kelmarsh wind farm, which will devastate huge swathes of beautiful rural Northamptonshire."

Chris Heaton-Harris MP

More wind farms “Pickled1” after being ”called in2” by the Secretary of State, Eric Pickles MP.

Previous news report

Previous news item East Heslerton & Thornholme

1 July 2014

Definitions  1 - Pickled -

a wind farm that is refused planning permission after it has been “called in” by Secretary of State, Eric Pickles.

Definitions 2 - Called in -

The “call in” process enables the Secretary of State to make the final decision after a wind farm appeal is heard by a Planning Inspector who then submits a recommendation to the Secretary of State rather than taking the decision himself. The special arrangement was put in place initially for a 6 month period but has been extended by a further 12 months up to April 2015.

 “The Government has recognised the need to change the planning balance”

 David Davis MP explains how changes will protect the interests of British citizens.

  Read the background to the current situation and relevant Ministerial Statements - here

Wind developers have had a good run - over the last 20 years they have put up 30,000 turbines  and now receive over £2BN per year in subsidy. For that they have destroyed much of our countryside and in return they produce at best about 10% of our electricity but sometimes hardly any at all.

There are enough turbines to meet our targets for installed capacity - so there is little need for more turbines. Rural communities are now fully aware of the harm that wind farms cause. The message has got through to Ministers and the “call in” process demonstrates a determination to restore the planning balance to where it should be. Heritage assets, landscape and residential amenity must all be given proper weight - the call in process is doing that.

The previous news page explained how East Heslerton and Thornholme Fields wind farms were both refused after the decisions had been called in. On this page we provide links to other decisions where wind farms have been refused after being called in.  See panel top left.

With large revenues under threat it is not surprising that wind developers are challenging the decisions made by the Secretary of State. It is for this reason that the process is robust. The Planning Appeal must still run its course, the arguments made by those objecting to the wind farm must be solid and the evidence they present must make a strong case - the examples listed on this page all show that to be the case.

Groups opposing wind farms need to ensure their case is strong and is soundly presented to the Inspector and that it is backed up by written evidence that will be seen by the Secretary of State. Note also that not all wind farm appeals are being called in. It is discretionary on the part of the Secretary of State and requires a sound case to be made, usually by an MP.  

Need less to say the developers are not pleased and this shows in some of their opening statements at planning inquiries.

They have also resorted to the High Court to appeal some of the early decisions taken after appeals have been called in. The good news is that in the case of the Huntspill wind farm the High Court upheld the decision taken by Pickles. Read more.   The decisions are being strongly defended, more challenges are expected to follow, until the developers get the message and the planning balance is restored to where it should be.

Killington - Killed by call in process

Banks Development withdraw when appeal is called in. Read more


Refused by Pickles after inspector recommended approval- grounds for refusal heritage, landscape and residential. MP attended PI.

Report here

Duddo Stones

Approval by Planning Inspecorate quashed after Ministerial intervention. More

Huntspill -

Refused by Pickles, recommended for approval by Inspector More

Nun Wood -

Refused by Pickles More

Monthly report on wind farm appeal decisions - how many were allowed/refused - which ones were called in - click here