Success in the High Court for Lyveden

The proposed site of Wind Turbine at Lyveden New Bield

The proposed site of Wind Turbine at Lyveden New Bield

We’re delighted that the legal challenge to the High Court has succeeded against a Planning Inspector’s decision to grant planning permission for four wind turbines near Lyveden New Bield in Northamptonshire.

The turbines would have overshadowed Lyveden’s Grade I listed Elizabethan Lodge and garden, having a significant impact on its peaceful, historic setting.

The legal challenge was brought jointly by the National Trust, English Heritage and the local planning authority, East Northamptonshire Council.

The development had been approved by the Planning Inspector on appeal after planning permission was initially refused by East Northamptonshire Council.

The Judge found that the Inspector failed to fulfil his statutory duty under section 66 of the Planning (Listed Buildings and Conservation Areas) Act 1990 which requires him to have special regard to the desirability of preserving the setting of heritage assets when making his decision on whether or not to grant planning permission.

She also found that the Inspector didn’t properly apply and interpret the relevant planning policies on the effect the development would have on the setting of Lyveden New Bield and that the Inspector failed to give adequate reasons for his decision.

Director General of the National Trust, Helen Ghosh, said: “Lyveden is a remarkable building with a very particular spirit. We are delighted that our visitors’ experience of its beautiful setting is now one step closer to being safeguarded. Clearly every legal case is different, but this sets an important marker in the defence of the historic environment from inappropriate development.”

The result means that a fresh planning inquiry will need to be convened to re-consider the appeal against the original planning decision.

The National Trust continues to believe that there is a case for wind power in the nation’s energy mix, but each wind farm proposal should be appropriate in site and scale.