Court of Appeal upholds Norfolk wind turbine approval

The Court of Appeal has upheld a planning inspector's approval of a single 80-metre-high wind turbine close to the Norfolk Broads.

High Court: case against turbine approval thrown out
High Court: case against turbine approval thrown out

The proposed turbine would stand near Beccles, in the Waveney Valley, less than a kilometre from the Broads – an area of natural beauty that enjoys special protection under the Norfolk and Suffolk Broads Act 1988.

A resident who lived nearby, Benjamin Howell, objected to the proposal but planning consent was granted by a planning inspector following a public inquiry.

The inspector concluded that the turbine would not harm the natural beauty of the Broads.

He found that, although there would be certain adverse effects on the landscape more generally, they were not significant in policy terms and were outweighed by the benefits of the turbine as an eco-friendly source of energy.

Noise generated by the turbine would be within acceptable limits and could be controlled by a condition attached to the consent.

Howell's judicial review challenge to that decision failed before the High Court.

In dismissing his appeal, the Appeal Court found that the inspector had properly considered the unique statutory status of the Broads.

He had taken into account local and national planning policies, had not exaggerated the benefits of the turbine and, overall, had performed an appropriate balancing exercise.

The Court was also not persuaded by arguments that the noise limits imposed by the consent would be unenforceable in practice.

Howell v Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government. Case Number: C1/2014/4276

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