Pickles dismisses three onshore wind farm appeals

Communities secretary Eric Pickles has rejected a string of appeals against planning refusals for up to 19 onshore wind turbines at sites in Lincolnshire, Northumberland and Somerset, saying that the turbines' adverse visual impacts would not be outweighed by factors in their favour.

Communities secretary Eric Pickles
Communities secretary Eric Pickles

The first appeal, by RWE Innogy, related to an application for ten wind turbines proposed for a site at Saxby Wolds, near Barton-upon-Humber, North Lincolnshire.

The second was by Energiekontor UK against the refusal of its plans for five turbines on land to the north of Fenrother, Northumberland.

The third, by Broadview Energy, was for four wind turbines near Axbridge in Somerset.

Decision letters issued today said that Pickles had agreed with his planning inspectors’ conclusions that the appeals be dismissed.

On the first appeal, the letter said that secretary of state considered that "substantial harm to the landscape and visual amenity" coupled with "substantial harm" to the setting of a scheduled ancient monument along with harm to other heritage assets "and the significant adverse impact on residential amenity, clearly outweigh the need for the proposal and its wider economic benefits".

On the Northumberland appeal a decision letter said that Pickles found that the proposal would constitute "inappropriate development in terms of green belt policy and would harm the openness of the area".

The letter said: "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".

For the final appeal a decision letter said that Pickles agreed 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. Put simply, the development is inappropriate for this location within the landscape".

The Lincolnshire appeal can be found below

The Northumberland appeal can be found below

The Somerset appeal can be found below

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