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Disappointment at Carsington wind farm appeal decision

This is an archived press release

Friday 17 July 2009

17 July 2009

Joint News Release from Derbyshire Dales District Council and The Peak District National Park Authority

Disappointment at Carsington wind farm appeal decision

A High Court Judge has today determined that proposals for the erection of four 102m wind turbines on land at Carsington Pastures can proceed.

Derbyshire Dales District Council originally rejected the proposals, however, following a Public Inquiry, they were given the go ahead in September last year by a Planning Inspector appointed by the Secretary of State.

Derbyshire Dales District Council and the Peak District National Park Authority subsequently lodged a joint appeal to the High Court challenging the Secretary of State’s decision on the grounds that the developers, Carsington Wind Energy Limited, failed to have regard to alternative sites in the locality which would not have such an adverse impact upon the Peak District National Park.

The appeal was subsequently considered in the High Court by Lord Justice Carnwath who has ruled that, whilst there are statutory provisions and policies relating to the National Park and Conservation Areas which require that special regard should be paid to their protection, there was not a positive obligation to consider alternative sites which may not have the same effects as the proposed development.

In the absence of any specific national or local policy guidance requiring consideration of alternatives, Lord Justice Carnwath determined that the Planning Inspector approached the matter in an appropriate way.  Accordingly, the appeal against the Secretary of State’s decision was dismissed.

The leader of Derbyshire Dales District Council, Councillor Lewis Rose, said: "I am very disappointed with the decision. The district council has never questioned the desirability or need to promote renewable energy sources, however, there is a clear need to undertake a balanced assessment of such proposals.  Unless developers are required to consider alternative sites which may have less impact, such a balanced judgement cannot be reached."

Councillor Hilda Gaddum, chair of the Peak District National Park Authority's planning cmmittee, said: "We made this joint appeal because it is our duty to fight threats to the national park landscape.

"We are disappointed with the judgement as we feel it is important that alternative sites are always considered first before making a decision to locate a wind farm 1.5 miles from a national park boundary.

"The authority has approved  a micro hydro power site at Alport Mill, solar panels and individual wind turbines in appropriate locations within the national park and will continue to support measures to provide more renewable energy. However, applications must also continue to be judged against the need to protect the natural beauty of the Peak District National Park landscape.

"We need to spend time reading the judgement in detail to fully understand the implications for the future."

This is an archived press release

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