Court of Appeal hears key case on wind turbine heritage impacts

Court of Appeal hears key case on wind turbine heritage impacts


Gordon Nardell QC and Justine Thornton appeared in the Court of Appeal on behalf of onshore renewables developer West Coast Energy in a key case about the impacts of wind turbines on heritage assets. An inspector granted planning permission for four turbines in Northamptonshire, finding that the benefits of renewable energy from the scheme would outweigh “less than substantial” harm to the setting of a number of heritage assets. Those included the scheduled ancient monument, registered park and garden and grade 1 listed building at Lyveden New Bield.  In an unusual step, English Heritage and the National Trust joined the local authority in applying to the High Court to quash the decision. Lang J upheld their challenge. The appeal, heard on 23 January, raises important issues about how decision-makers meet the duty under s. 66(1) of the Listed Buildings Act 1990 to have “special regard” to the desirability of preserving listed buildings and their settings. The court’s judgment is awaited. BBC TV’s coverage of the appeal is here.

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