Thu, 05 Mar 2015
In a judgment of the High Court handed down today, the Court has allowed a judicial review claim to quash a planning permission for a 22ha solar farm in Wiltshire, despite it being already constructed and operational. Dove J granted the claim on the basis that there had been a number of legal errors, concerning, in particular, the failure to assess properly the impact of the development on the setting of a grade II* listed building. The Council had failed to consult English Heritage and had failed in their statutory duty to pay special regard to the protection of the listed building and its setting. Additionally, the Court found that the Council had breached a legitimate expectation to consult the Claimant, the occupier of the nearby affected listed building. Finally, the EIA screening opinion was considered to be flawed both as to its substance and reasoning.
The interested parties submitted that the Court should exercise its discretion not to quash given the delay in bringing the proceedings and the fact that the development is now built. Whilst the Court accepted that a quashing order would cause substantial financial prejudice to the interested parties, on balance it considered a quashing order to be the appropriate remedy, particularly in light of the importance of the need for proper consideration of the interests of a nationally protected heritage asset and for observance of the requirements of EU environmental law.
Jenny Wigley acted for the successful Claimant.
A full copy of the Judgment is available to download by clicking here.