SPD skirmish in wind farm wars

SPD skirmish in wind farm wars


Gordon Nardell QC and James Burton act for RWE Npower Renewables in a new claim for judicial review against Milton Keynes Council.  Several local authorities have lately attempted to use local planning policies to dilute the strong support in national energy and planning policy for onshore wind schemes.  Milton Keynes has gone further than most, adopting a Supplementary Planning Document (SPD) that imposes minimum separation distances between wind turbines and residential properties.  If the SPD were applied in planning decisions , it would effectively prevent commercial wind energy schemes in all but tiny parts of the Borough.  The claim points out that legislation and Government guidance require SPDs to supplement, not contravene, adopted local plan policies.  It also alleges that the Council has misused the SPD as a way of circumventing formal examination in public of development plan documents (DPDs).  If the Council had included its separation distance policy in a DPD, the policy would fail the “soundness” test because of the conflict with the National Planning Policy Framework.

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