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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 refused - Pickles weighing in on landscape and visual impact of turbines.

Previous news report

Previous news item More wind farms “Pickled”

31 July 2014  Refused - Fenrother  - 5 x 126 metre turbines - Inspector Phillip Ware  - Called in

“  the benefits of the proposal do not clearly outweigh the harm to the Green Belt and the harm to residents’ visual amenity.

For the reasons at IR236-238, the Secretary of State agrees with the Inspector that those properties in Fenrother with a clear view of the development would come to be regarded as an unattractive and thus unsatisfactory (albeit not uninhabitable) place in which to live (IR237). He also agrees that, when moving about Fenrother generally, the development would be such a noticeable feature that the overall character of the settlement and the amenity of its residents would be significantly harmed (IR238).   See para 13

National policy is clear. Inappropriate development is, by definition, harmful to the Green Belt and should not be approved except in very special circumstances. Substantial weight should be given to any harm to the Green Belt and very special circumstances will not exist unless the potential harm to the Green Belt by reason of inappropriateness, and any other harm, is clearly outweighed by other considerations (IR296). Para 23


These points did not sway the balance.   .

31 July 2014  Refused - Pilrow - 4 x 130 metre turbine - Inspector Paul Jackson - Called in

“Landscape and residential amenity ”


The Secretary of State agrees with the Inspector that the proposals would provide a significant uplift in renewable energy and reduction in CO2 emissions and that there would be some benefits to the local economy in terms of employment and a material improvement to wildlife habitat (IR345). Para 23

However, he also agrees that there would be a serious adverse impact on the landscape character and visual amenity for a significant area on the Somerset Levels. He further agrees that there would be a degree of harm to many views from the Mendips which are an ANOB and less than substantial harm to the setting of a scheduled ancient monument in the form of Brent Knoll Hillfort, limited harm to the setting of East Brent Church, and a significant deleterious cumulative impact on the residential amenity of at least two dwellings, considered together with the proximity of the M5. Like the Inspector the Secretary of State also considers that there are no means of mitigation for the landscape and visual harm (IR346). Para 24

The press report is interesting because a Lib-Dem MP , Tessa Munt, was pleased to share the glory when the appeal was refused. We hope that she will advise Ed Davey, her Lib Dem Secretary of State, that onshore wind farms are causing unacceptable damage to our countryside.



25 July 2014  Refused - Causeway Bridge - 1 x 78 metre turbine - Inspector Ron Boyd -

“the benefits of the proposal are insufficient to outweigh the harm”

The turbine was refused because of the visual impact , landscape impact and cumulative impact ….. the effect the proposed development would have on the character and appearance of the surrounding area; the setting of the Lincolnshire Wolds Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty (the AONB) and the visual amenity of people within the surrounding area, having regard to the potential cumulative impact from it being seen alongside other approved and constructed turbines.

In his closing comments the Inspector referenced the appellants case that the turbine would : contribute towards UK and EU targets for renewable energy; add to security of supply; assist in combating climate change; provide a valuable farm diversification contributing towards making the agricultural enterprise sustainable; be an educational resource for local schools and colleges; and be open to local people to invest and gain financial benefits. Letters of support and that the turbine would only be temporary for 25 years were also noted.

These points did not sway the balance in favour of approving the wind turbine and it was duly refused.  

Download the decision documents

Fenrother

Pilrow

Causeway Bridge

Saxby Wold

Orchard Way

Read the report about Pilrow and Fenrother in renewable Energy News - click here.

31 July 2014  Refused - Saxby Wold- 10 x 78 metre turbine - Inspector A Robinson - Called in

“the benefits of the proposal are insufficient to outweigh the harm”

The harm would not be rendered significantly more acceptable by the prospect of the proposal being removed after 25 years (IR583).

However, the proposal would cause substantial harm to the quality and character of an important feature within the landscape, result in significant visual impact and diminish the enjoyment of this part of the countryside in general and of the Viking Way in particular. Having regard to paragraph 98 of the Framework, the Secretary of State considers that these impacts cannot be made acceptable. He agrees with the Inspector that the harm to the landscape, visual amenity and enjoyment of the countryside would be such as to more than outweigh the benefits of the proposal.


27 July 2014  Refused - Orchard Way - 5 x 127 metre turbines - Inspector Phillip Jackson - Called in


“there is every likelihood that the property concerned would come to be widely regarded as an unattractive and thus unsatisfactory (but not necessarily uninhabitable) place in which to live (IR289). The Secretary of State agrees with this analysis and agrees with the Inspector (IR289) that it may not be in the public interest to create such living conditions where they did not exist before.




unsatisfactory (but not necessarily uninhabitable) place in which to live (IR289). The Secretary of State agrees with this analysis and agrees with the Inspector (IR289) that it may not be in the public interest to create such living conditions where they did not exist before.