Wind farm battle goes to Court of Appeal

An appeal to overturn a decision to block a controversial wind farm near a National Trust property has been heard at the Appeal Court in London
An appeal to overturn a decision to block a controversial wind farm near a National Trust property has been heard at the Appeal Court in London

An appeal to overturn a decision to block a controversial wind farm near a National Trust property has been heard at the Appeal Court in London.

In February 2013 East Northamptonshire Council, the National Trust and English Heritage brought a successful legal challenge to the High Court which quashed a planning inspector’s decision to allow four wind turbines close to Lyveden New Bield and Lyveden Manor, near Brigstock.

The company behind the plans, West Coast Energy, appealed against the decision and the case was heard at the Court of Appeal on Thursday, January 23.

The three Appeal court judges now have to decide whether the High Court judge made her decision correctly.

If the developer’s appeal is successful the planning inspector’s decision to grant consent for the 126m turbines will be upheld.

Lyveden New Bield is a Grade I listed building and the National Trust site it is on is a scheduled ancient monument.

A statement from the National Trust, English Heritage and East Northamptonshire Council said: “We believe the decision made by the High Court was right.”

UKIP politicians in the county have also called on the court to again refuse permission, calling wind farms “useless,” and a “confidence trick.”

Margot Parker, who is standing for UKIP in the European Elections in May and stood for the party in the Corby and East Northamptonshire by-election in 2012, said: “In the beautiful Northamptonshire countryside lies Lyveden New Bield - a wonderful Elizabethan garden and lodge of unique importance.

“Lyveden is one of the oldest garden landscapes in England and I have always supported the local people in Sudborough parish in their fight, along with East Northamptonshire Council, the National Trust, and English Heritage, to stop this windfarm – I am always ready help local campaigners in their battle against this monstrous development.”

The county’s current UKIP MEP Derek Clark said: “How many times must it be pointed out that wind turbines only produce electricity for about 30 per cent of the time and not on full power for all of that period?”