No5 successful in decision that saw secretary of state dismiss appeal for wind farm

This was a recovered decision by the secretary of state. Two local planning authorities resisted the appeal in light of the fact that the proposed development straddled the boundaries of each. Jack Smyth of No5 Chambers represented South Holland District. It advanced a narrow case based upon a single reason for refusal on the ground that the wind turbines were located so close to a dwelling (the Birches) that it would cause an oppressive and overwhelming impact on the residents’ amenity.

The inspector found that the overwhelming visual effects would be so severe as to make the dwelling an unattractive place to live, which would not be in the public interest. The secretary of state agreed with the inspector’s conclusion. 

The secretary of state determined that the effect on living conditions in respect of the Birches and two other properties in the other local authority’s patch alone significantly outweighed the benefits of the proposal and would not be offset by a more general package of benefits to the community.

The secretary of state agreed with the inspector that, where the impact on living conditions is a main concern, it is not right to give a great deal of weight to the factor that any permission would be for 25 years. He also agreed with the inspector that the proposals conflict with paragraph 17 of the framework, which seeks a good standard of amenity for all existing and future occupants of land and buildings.