Court throws out challenge to wind farm plan

The High Court has thrown out an action challenging the grant of planning permission to build a wind farm in Emberton, Olney, Milton Keynes.

Court throws out challenge to wind farm plan

The High Court has thrown out an action challenging the grant of planning permission to build a wind farm in Emberton, Olney, Milton Keynes.

In January 2008 Milton Keynes Council granted MK Wind Farms Ltd planning permission to construct the wind farm, comprising seven wind turbines of up to 125 meters high.

A local campaign group, Bucks Lacks Enough Wind (BLEW), opposed the wind farm on the basis that they considered the area to have insufficient wind power to make the wind farm economically viable so as to counteract the negative effects on the landscape and those living near it.

A member of BLEW raised a court action seeking to have the planning permission quashed. He claimed that in granting the planning permission, Milton Keynes Council had failed to make wind speed data available, had erred in its approach to PPS 22 (the planning policy statement setting out the Government's policies for renewable energy), and had refused to visit various viewing points in order to gauge the impact of the development.

Although the judge acknowledged that the council had failed in some of its statutory duties, he rejected BLEW's argument that wind speed data had not been made available to the public.

The judge also stated that it was obvious that MK Wind Farm Ltd would not have pursued the application unless satisfied that it would provide value for money and be economically viable. In considering the PPS 22 principles it was held that the wind farm development presented no adverse impacts.

Furthermore, it was also held that with respect to the failure to visit the various viewing points, the committee members were entitled to conclude that they had sufficient information without doing so.

The judgement of the High Court in this case is available from the link below:-

http://www.bailii.org/ew/cases/EWHC/Admin/2008/1650.html

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