Court of Appeal says ‘no’ to turbines near heritage site

Lyveden New Bield
Lyveden New Bield
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The Court of Appeal has upheld a decision by the High Court to quash planning approval of a wind turbine development near a National Trust property.

Campaigners argued a wind farm close to Lyveden New Bield, near Oundle, would be “harmful” to the Grade I listed Elizabethan manor house, lodge and garden because of the “substantial impact on the setting and significance of these heritage assets of the highest order”.

The National Trust, English Heritage and East Northamptonshire Council worked jointly to oppose the appeal, which was brought by Barnwell Manor Wind Energy.

The development had been approved by the Planning Inspector on appeal in 2012, after East Northamptonshire Council refused to give the application for four wind turbines West Coast Energy permission in 2011.

The council, the National Trust and English Heritage appealed the decision in the High Court in January and in March, the High Court announced it had overturned the inspector’s approval.

West Coast Energy was given permission by the Court of Appeal to contest the High Court decision this January.

The result means that the appeal against the original planning decision will need to be considered afresh.

East Northamptonshire councillor Sylvia Hughes (Con), who represents the Lyveden ward, said it was a “great result”. She said Lyveden New Bield was “highly valued by residents and visitors”.

She said: “Whilst we support the development of green energy, it must not be to the detriment of our valuable heritage sites.”

Chief executive of English Heritage Simon Thurley said: “We are very pleased that the Court of Appeal has underlined the vital principle of preserving important historic places like Lyveden New Bield - one of the most beautiful and unspoilt Elizabethan landscapes in England.”

Director general of the National Trust Helen Ghosh said the core purpose of the charity was to protect beautiful places like Lyveden.