DC Casebook: Energy Development - Heritage need outweighs turbine case

The owner of a grade II listed mansion in the High Weald area of outstanding natural beauty (AONB) has been refused permission for an 11kW turbine after an inspector decided that renewable generation should not outweigh protection of historic assets.

The Victorian hall is on a ridge and surrounded by formal gardens. The turbine was to be sited on a slope 70m from the front of the house and would be 35m high to blade tip.

The appellant noted that national advice does not preclude sensitively sited energy developments in AONBs and PPS5 encourages opportunities to mitigate the impact of climate change in decisions on heritage sites.

The inspector agreed with these points and accepted that the need to generate energy from renewable sources supported the plan. However, he concluded that the turbine would be out of character with the hall and grounds.

Even though it was not excessively large, he judged that it would appear as a striking object from many windows in the hall and would be visible from a wide area of the AONB. The blade would appear as an unusual and discordant addition to the landscape, he found. It would undermine the setting and historic importance of the hall, he concluded.

DCS Number 100-069-057

Inspector Paul Jackson; Written representations.

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