Pickles blocks Northamptonshire turbine against inspector's recommendation of approval

Communities secretary Eric Pickles has refused planning permission for a wind turbine in Northamptonshire against an inspector's recommendation, citing concerns over its impact on a nearby listed building and the character of farmland.

Communities secretary Eric Pickles
Communities secretary Eric Pickles

In 2013 Daventry District Council refused an application to install the single wind turbine at Long Furlong in Catesby, Daventry.

An inspector recommended in July that an appeal lodged against the council’s decision should be allowed, saying that the weight attached to the renewable energy provision "clearly outweighs the other harm".

But a decision letter issued today said Pickles disagreed with the inspector’s recommendation, and refused planning permission for the development.

The proposed wind turbine was planned in the vicinity of Long Furlong Farmhouse, a Grade II listed building.

The decision letter said that Pickles disagreed with the inspector’s opinion that the wind turbine’s impact on views of the listed building from some aspects would only have a limited impact on the overall significance of the listed building.

It said: "The Secretary of State … concludes that the introduction of a large, modern, aerodynamic structure, of a different scale and appearance to most other features that are found in the countryside, into the vicinity of an 18th century listed farmhouse, would substantially alter the significance of that farmhouse."

The decision letter also said that Pickles disagreed with the view that the turbine would not significantly change the character of the farmland and would not be out of place.

The letter said: "[The secretary of state] concludes that while this is a working environment/setting with changes to the setting relating to changing needs in modern farming, it is also farmland centring on a listed building dating from the 18th century, and thus that the introduction of a piece of large, prominent modern equipment will inevitably change its setting."

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