UK & World News
Court Bans Wind Farm On Queen's Cousin's Land
Leading conservationists have won a High Court battle against plans for a wind farm on land owned by the Queen's cousin.
The conservationists had warned that if it went ahead it would have resulted in substantial harm to a heritage area "of national significance".
The wind farm would have been built about 2km (1.3miles) from an unfinished but historically important Jacobean house in Northamptonshire.
English Heritage and the National Trust say the case has national implications.
They supported East Northamptonshire District Council's successful legal bid to block proposals submitted by West Coast Energy for four 300ft (91m) turbines on farmland at Barnwell Manor in Sudborough.
In 2010 the council had rejected plans for the farm submitted by West Coast Energy at Barnwell Manor, which is owned by the Queen's cousin, the Duke of Gloucester.
But the rejection was over-ruled by a public inquiry inspector who upheld the energy firm's claim that the turbines would cause "less than substantial" harm and would deliver benefits from renewable energy.
Now a judge has decided that East Northamptonshire's original decision should stand and the inquiry's decision should be thrown out.
Mrs Justice Lang ruled at London's High Court that the decision to give the go-ahead was legally flawed and must be quashed.
Although the manor is owned by the Duke of Gloucester, he was not directly involved in the challenge.
The judge ruled there had been a failure by a public inquiry inspector "properly to interpret and apply the relevant planning policies on the effect of development on the setting of heritage sites, which meant that the balancing exercise was flawed".
The ruling is being regarded as an important victory by conservationists.
They were concerned over the impact the wind farm would have on local panoramic views, and in particular the setting of Lyveden New Bield, a 17th-century lodge which has one of the finest surviving examples of an Elizabethan garden in the country.
The conservationists had warned that if they lost the case the protection of other important historic sites around the country could be undermined.
National Trust representative Mark Bradshaw said later: "We are delighted with the outcome.
"We hope this brings to an end a five-year battle to preserve and protect the important setting of some of our most significant heritage assets.
"Lyveden is of international importance. The harm to heritage assets like Lyveden should be weighed against the benefits of wind farms."
Barnwell Manor is the historic former home of the Duke and Duchess of Gloucester and is part of the Barnwell Castle Estate. It was bought by the current Duke's father Prince Henry, the brother of George VI, in 1938 and he died there in 1974.
After his death, the estate was retained by his son Prince Richard, the current Duke of Gloucester, but his family moved out in 1994, leasing their property. The Duke and his family now live in Kensington.
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what do you think?
Great- can we now ban the hideous pointless things from everywhere else too?
Great news now get them shifted from the other areas of natural beauty like in Yorkshire - they are false economy
I don't know why people bother with turbines -- they have no long term future, effectively create more CO2 per KW/hour than burning coal, and are made from horrid elements ie. mercury and cadmium that are hard to dispose of or reuse, and a heck of a job to mine in the first place. If you want clean energy, and energy security, why are we not looking at tidal energy? If i remember rightly a plant across the mouth of the Severn could provide 20% of our current electricity use - on the other hand you would need approc 5km thickness of turbines around the entire coast of the UK to provide the same. Tidal and nuclear fission/fusion is the way forward. the rest is just pointless. (and algal oils as a replacement for petrol)
wind turbines are the most ineficiant power generators there are , not only that they are a blot on the landscape ( can be seen for many miles away ) and are generally not turning i would love to blow them all up .
Amazing what you can achieve when you know people in the right places.
Ali, Presumably by "the right people" you mean the Queen's cousin. I think you will find however, it was he who wanted the this scheme, since he would have benefitted by thousands of pounds had the turbines been built. On this occasionh however, it was the conservationists who won the day. I do take your point however regarding "people in the right places". These days, it is usually a case of "not what you know but who you know"............
wow gordon you spoke to me nicely :) have a nice day