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Decision Based on Evidence Means Planning Application Fails

26th July, 2012

When a local authority refused to approve a plan to build a 19-turbine wind farm on a peat bog near Swansea, the applicant – energy giant Npower – appealed.

The planning appeal was dealt with by way of an inquiry. There were objections related to the effect the wind farm would have on the peat in the area and the steps to be taken to mitigate this. Evidence was given by an expert instructed by the applicant that the impact would be minor. This evidence was not challenged.

The Inspector’s report stated that the impact on the peat bog would be significant and the Welsh Ministers refused the planning application on this ground.

The refusal was overturned by the High Court on the ground that the Inspector’s decision was not adequately supported by the evidence and did not follow coherently from it.

The Welsh Ministers appealed against this decision. The appeal was upheld by the Court of Appeal, which concluded that the Inspector had had enough information and had ‘complied with the basic obligation to provide…adequate reasons’.

As a result, Npower is faced with submitting a new application with the wind turbines positioned in such a way as to minimise the impact on the peat.

When Seeking Planning Permission in a sensitive environment it is essential that you have all the correct information in front of the decision maker to help them give full weight to your case over any possible objection. We can help you put your case as strongly as possible.

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