The National Trust is 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 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.
On leaving the High Court, Mark Bradshaw, the National Trust’s Property Manager at Lyveden New Bield, said: “We are delighted with the outcome.
“We hope this brings to an end a five-year battle to preserve and protect the important setting of some of our most significant heritage assets.
“Lyveden is of international importance. The harm to heritage assets like Lyveden should be weighed against the benefits of wind farms.”
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 is an important decision 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.
For further media information please contact Cat Philpott.
Lyveden New Bield is one of England’s oldest garden landscapes and features an unfinished Tudor garden lodge, steeped in Catholic symbolism. Work on Lyveden stopped suddenly in 1605 when its creator, Sir Thomas Tresham, died and his son became embroiled in the Gunpowder Plot. The Elizabethan moats, mounts and terracing have been restored and the orchard re-planted with period varieties. There is a 3D video tour of the landscape here.