On 18 February the Court of Appeal gave its eagerly anticipated judgment in Barnwell Manor Wind Energy Ltd v. East Northants DC, English Heritage and National Trust  EWCA Civ 137. As previously reported (click here for article), this high-profile case concerned an inspector’s decision granting planning permission for a 4-turbine wind farm affecting the setting of a number of high-value heritage assets in Northamptonshire, including the internationally significant Elizabethan complex at Lyveden New Bield. The inspector found some, but “less than substantial”, harm to the setting of the assets, and held that harm outweighed by the “significant” weight attaching to the renewable energy benefits of the scheme. Lang J quashed the grant of permission. Gordon Nardell QC and Justine Thornton, instructed by Eversheds, appeared in the appeal on behalf of Barnwell Manor Wind Energy Ltd. The Court of Appeal upheld Lang J’s decision, in the process clarifying what decision-makers have to do to meet the “special regard” duty under Listed Buildings Act 1990 s. 66(1).
The next edition of our Planning, Environment and Property Newsletter will contain more detailed reflections on the Court of Appeal’s judgment. Meanwhile this important decision is a salutary reminder of the great care needed when promoting and determining applications for onshore wind development capable of affecting the setting of heritage assets.