39 Essex Chambers wins latest battle in windfarm wars

39 Essex Chambers wins latest battle in windfarm wars


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The Court of Appeal has given judgment in Hulme v. Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government [2011] EWCA  Civ 638, the latest round in the long battle over the proposed 9-turbine windfarm at Den Brook, Devon – the subject of BBC2’s Windfarm Wars series.  In August 2010 the High Court dismissed local resident Mike Hulme’s challenge to an inspector’s grant of planning permission following a re-run inquiry.  The Court dismissed a challenge to allegedly defectively drafted conditions dealing with a characteristic of turbine noise known as Amplitude Modulation (AM) or blade “swish”.  Although the conditions did not expressly impose an obligation to comply with defined AM limits, that was the inspector’s clear intention, and as a matter of construction that obligation could be treated as implicit in the language of the conditions.  The Court has clarified its earlier Trustees of Walton Charities decision, and adopted an expansive approach to power of the courts to read conditions to accord with their evident purpose.  Gordon Nardell QC appeared for the windfarm developer, RES Developments Limited


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