The turbines would have a height to blade tip of 125m. The secretary of state agreed with the inspector’s conclusions that the matters to weigh in the balance were the benefits of the scheme against the landscape and visual impacts, to which he added the impact on living conditions of certain residential properties and cultural heritage impact, in particular in respect of a scheduled ancient monument.
The secretary of state had identified the increase in the supply of renewable energy and a reduction in the carbon dioxide emissions, assisting in mitigating climate change, as very important factors in favour of the appeal. However, he also found that this consideration was significantly and demonstrably outweighed by the impact on the living conditions of the properties identified. He considered that the proposal was unacceptable in this respect. Added to this he identified harm in respect of cultural heritage and the visual amenity of the area, generally up to 5km of the development, as well as landscape impact. The secretary of state concluded that, taken as a whole, the proposal conflicted with national policy set out in the NPPF.
Like the inspector, the secretary of state had considered the temporary nature and reversibility of the proposal. He agreed with the inspector’s conclusion particularly in relation to the impact of the proposals upon the use of and enjoyment by occupiers of the houses affected. In carrying out the balancing exercise he too attached limited weight to the potential for reversibility.
Having weighed up all relevant considerations, the secretary of state concluded that the factors which weighed in favour of the development did not outweigh its shortcomings and the conflict identified with the development plan and national policy.
Inspector: George Baird; Inquiry