Bodham wind turbine plan suffers High Court setback
12:48 14 February 2014
A long-running bid to put a wind turbine in rural north Norfolk has suffered a setback - after council planners won a High Court challenge against the scheme’s approval.
But the farming family behind the project is vowing to battle on to get the 86m turbine built at Bodham near Holt despite the blow.
Father and son John and David Mack’s Genetec green energy company is seeking to put the turbine, which would generate power for 600 homes, at Pond Farm.
They were turned down by North Norfolk District Council in August 2012, but won a planning appeal last year.
However the council took the decision to the High Court where a judge has ordered the government to rethink its approval of plans,
Deputy judge Robin Purchas QC found that the government planning inspector had performed a flawed balancing exercise when weighing the energy benefits of the turbine against the impact on surroundings.
Today, Friday, he ruled that the inspector had failed to give the “special regard” required over the impact it would have on the setting of listed buildings, including Bodham church, Baconsthorpe Castle, and Barningham Hall.
The government was ordered to pay the council’s costs. The matter will now have to be reconsidered by a different inspector, and the council hopes it will be rejected.
Council leader Tom FitzPatrick welcomed the decision which validated the original decision - when officers said the “significant change” to the landscape outweighed the relatively small amount of electricity the turbine would produce.
It also vindicated the council’s determination to pursue this case to the High Court.
He added: “The decision is good news for the local community, the environment and the tourism economy of North Norfolk as a whole.”
Mr Mack said they felt the high court decision was wrong and would be seeking to fight on to get the turbine built - at “a great site with very high wind speeds” - through further action in either the planning or court process.
■For the full story see tomorrow’s EDP.