North East Wales

Judge overturns wind farm refusal at Clocaenog Forest

A wind turbine
Image caption Permission for the wind turbines was refused due to noise levels

A decision to refuse planning permission for a Denbighshire wind farm has been overturned by a High Court judge.

The local authority's refusal of permission for a development at Gorsedd Bran, Nantglyn, was quashed by Mr Justice Wyn Williams and sent back for reconsideration.

Permission was refused for several reasons, including noise levels.

However, the High Court ruled the decision-making process was flawed.

Permission was refused in November 2008.

The applicants, Tegni Cymru Cyf, appealed that decision, but it was again refused.

Mr Justice Wyn Williams said the inspector who investigated the noise impact of the site during the appeal did not give sufficient reasons for concluding sound levels generated would be unacceptable.

'Visual impact'

Delivering his ruling, the judge said: "Tegni Cymru Cyf seek an order quashing a decision dated 18 November 2009 made by an inspector duly appointed by Denbighshire County Council whereby he dismissed the claimant's appeal against the council's refusal to grant planning permission for what is known, in summary, as a wind farm."

He added: "The primary ground of challenge is that the inspector reached conclusions about the visual impact of the wind farm and the noise associated with its operation which no reasonable Inspector would have reached.

"Additionally, however, the claimant alleges that the inspector's decision should be quashed because he failed to give sufficient reasons for his conclusions upon important issues."

The judge concluded "the inspector erred in law in at least one important respect".

He added: "In my judgment, he failed to provide adequate reasons for his conclusion that the noise impact of the proposed development was unacceptable; his reasoning gives rise to a substantial doubt, at the very least, as to whether he erred in law when reaching his conclusion upon the issue of noise impact."

Tegni Cymru Cyf want to erect 13 turbines, which it claims would power 23,896 homes.

In a statment, Denbighshire County Council said it "will be seeking its own advice on the judgement and will be waiting to see what action, if any, Welsh Assembly Government ministers will be taking following the judgement in this case".

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