The secretary of state was of the view that, given the pattern of wind turbine development in the area, the cumulative effect would be of particular importance, and that the overall adverse cumulative effect on the landscape character and visual amenity of the area would be of moderate to major significance.
He also agreed with the inspector’s conclusion that the scheme would harm the setting of the grade I listed Howden Minster, and impair the ability of observers to understand and appreciate the importance of the Minster in its wider context, but that this harm would be of moderate significance.
However, he shared the inspector’s view that the cumulative effects of the proposal along with existing and consented turbines were particularly important with respect to the likely impact on the character and appearance of the area and on heritage assets. The secretary of state gave considerable importance and weight to the desirability of preserving the setting of the listed buildings and, like the inspector he considered that the harm arising in this respect weighed significantly against the proposal. The secretary of state weighed these matters very carefully and concluded that the public benefits of generating electricity from a renewable source would not outweigh the harm to the character and appearance of the area, to the local amenity of the area, and to listed buildings. He further agreed that the risk to archaeological remains tipped the planning balance even further against granting permission.
Inspector: John Woolcock; Inquiry