The appeal was recovered for the secretary of state’s determination because it involved a renewable energy development. A previous appeal (DCS Number 400-001-279) had been allowed but had been quashed by order of the High Court in February 2014. The previous inspector had concluded that the turbines would not harm the landscape and would be seen only distantly in views from ancient monuments and a listed farmhouse and C13th listed church. He also gave weight to the small but valuable contribution to renewable energy.
The secretary of state gave substantial weight to the benefits of the development. However, agreeing with the second inspector, he found that the scheme harmed the scenic qualities and natural beauty of the AONB. He also concluded that the scheme harmed the settings of a grade I and a grade II listed building and caused harm to a scheduled ancient monument. He gave considerable importance and weight to the desirability of preserving the historic assets.
Overall, the secretary of state concluded that the appeal was not in accordance with the development plan and that there were no material considerations of sufficient weight to justify him determining the appeal other than in accordance with the development plan.
Inspector: Neil Pope; Hearing