Date published: 19th June 2019

North Norfolk District Council has received the judgment of the Rt Hon Lord Justice Lindblom, who has refused the council’s application to go to the Court of Appeal regarding the way two wind-turbine planning appeals will be decided by the Planning Inspectorate.

NNDC had previously challenged the decision of the Planning Inspectorate to redetermine the Bodham and Selbrigg wind-turbine appeals by way of the written-representations procedure rather than by reopening the Public Inquiry, which it considered was contrary to the Planning Inspectorate’s own procedural guidance.

After hearing evidence from both sides, and despite the judge finding that the Planning Inspectorate’s decisions, for the most part, were not expressed within the right framework, Mr Justice Ouseley found in favour of the Planning Inspectorate and concluded that the decision to redetermine the appeals by written representations was lawful.

NNDC had concerns about Mr Justice Ouseley’s decision, and that led to an application for permission to appeal to the Court of Appeal.

The decision by the Rt Hon Lord Justice Lindblom means that the Planning Inspectorate is now able to continue the written-representations procedure for both the Bodham and the Selbrigg turbine appeals.

Cllr Karen Ward, NNDC Portfolio Holder for Planning, said: “The decision of Lord Justice Lindblom is disappointing for residents of North Norfolk.

“This council recognises the vital role that renewable-energy projects can play in decarbonising the energy sector as we look to respond positively to our declaration of a climate emergency. However, it is also important that renewable-energy proposals are sensitive to the important landscape and heritage value of our district.

“In this regard, it is vital to ensure that evidence in relation to application proposals and planning appeals can be properly tested in the right forum. This council remains firmly of the view that a reopened Public Inquiry would have been the best way for the Planning Inspectorate to reconsider these turbine appeals.

“Whilst it is important that we continue to fight for the rights of our residents to be heard, we can pursue this matter no further in the courts so we will now move to ensuring the council can put its best case forward in the redetermination of theses turbine appeals by whatever means the Planning Inspectorate decides.”

Last updated: 19th June 2019