Wind farm objector’s appeal fails

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

The High Court had refused permission to challenge the planning decision on grounds of delay as well as on the claim’s lack of substantive merit.

In taking his case to the Court of Appeal the appellant alleged that in granting the planning permission, Milton Keynes Council had failed to make wind speed data available. The appellant also claimed that the reasons given by Milton Keynes Council for granting planning permission for the windfarm were ambiguous and that objectors had been prejudiced as a result.

In its judgment the Court of Appeal highlighted the need for a claimant seeking judicial review to act promptly. The Judge stated that this arose, in part, from the fact that a public law decision by a public body normally affects the rights of parties other than just the claimant and the decision maker. The judge also stressed the importance of acting promptly in cases where it is sought to challenge the grant of planning permission.

In reaching its conclusion the Court explained that what satisfies the requirement of promptness varies from case to case and depends on the relevant circumstances.

The Court of Appeal found that that the High Court was correct in its finding that the claim had not been lodged promptly and so did no comply with Civil Procedure Rules for judicial Review (CPR 54.5).

With respect to alleged breaches concerning the availability of wind data the Court held supplementary environmental information (SEI) provided gave sufficient indication to any interested reader that raw wind data was available and could be obtained on request.

The judgement of the Court of Appeal in this case is available here.

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