Thu, 29 Nov 2012
Following a eight day planning inquiry the appeal in respect of an application for four wind turbines was dismissed. The appeal site lay near to the M5 and close to the edge of the Cotswolds AONB. Jack Smyth represented Stroud District Council.
The Reasons for Refusal were narrow and discreet; namely that the proposed turbines would have an unacceptable impact on views out from and towards Stinchcombe Hill (the escarpment on the very edge of the AONB). The case which was successfully advanced revolved around the unacceptable harm said to be caused to an important and valuable vantage point of the Cotswolds AONB. The Council’s landscape expert described it as “the shop-window of the AONB”.
The Inspector accepted the Council’s evidence that the proposal would have a significant adverse impact on their landscape character of this national designation. He found that this harm was substantial and outweighed the clear and multiple benefits of the renewable energy scheme.
This was an interested appeal which was adjourned mid-way through when the National Planning Policy Framework was published on the 5th day of the inquiry. The Inspector seems to have accorded the development plan and the array of SPDs full weight.