Wind-Farm Verdict That Will Decide The Future Of Britain’s Countryside

  • Date: 18/02/13
  • Tom Farmery, The Times

It is a case that has divided rural opinion, and this week the decision over the Barnwell Manor wind farm will reach its climax at the High Court. At stake is more than just a corner of the Northamptonshire countryside.

Last year planning permission was granted to build four turbines and a substation north of Catshead Woods in Sudborough. Criticism has rained heavily over the plans that have been described by the Campaign to Protect Rural England (CPRE) as “damage to biodiversity”.

Lyveden New Bield

The National Trust has raised concerns over the effect that a wind farm would have on Lyveden New Bield - Paul Harris/National Trust Images

Barnwell Manor Wind Energy Ltd initially applied for permission to build five wind turbines after the Duke of Gloucester, who owns the land, agreed it could be used for development. But those requests were refused by East Northamptonshire District Council in January 2011. That decision was then appealed and permission was granted in March 2012 for four wind turbines.

The National Trust said that the wind farm would have a negative impact on nearby historical sites such as Lyveden New Bield, a 17th-century lodge with one of the only remaining examples of an Elizabethan garden.

In December last year, an appeal to the High Court against the proposals ended on the second day after the judge, Sir Nicholas Underhill, stated that he was a member of both the National Trust and English Heritage.

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