Bullington Cross Wind Farm
Following the decision by all three councils to refuse planning permission for Bullington Cross Wind Farm in June 2014, as expected, EDF left it to the last minute to appeal the decision in December. The schedule for the appeal has been set; the deadline for public submissions passed on 9th March, the deadline for “statement of case” (outline of the grounds on which parties will be defending the decision) is 7th April, with the 16-day hearing due to start on 13th October.
Winchester, Basingstoke and Test Valley Councils will be combining forces to fight the appeal, and Keep Hampshire Green and the Ministry of Defence will be fighting as Rule 6 Parties. Rule 6 Parties are entitled to put forward legal representation as well as expert witnesses, and to cross-examine the witnesses of the opposing parties.
The decision has been called in, or “recovered” by the Secretary of State, Eric Pickles, so the Planning Inspector will make a recommendation to him, and he will make the final decision. We hope that he will ensure that the democratic decision of the local community will be upheld, but it is hard to know at this stage who the Secretary of State will be.
Although the delay means that we continue to live with the anxiety and uncertainty, in some ways it is positive. As time passes, the absurdity of the present energy policy becomes increasingly clear; it has driven up costs, reduced security of supply, and failed to reduce carbon emissions across Europe, not to mention the devastation it has caused to many precious landscapes.
Further information can be found at www.keephampshiregreen.org.
Woodmancott Down Wind Farm
TCI Renewables decided not to appeal the refusal of permission by Basingstoke and Deane Borough Council last June. While this provides some relief for the community, it is not necessarily the end of the story. TCI have withdrawn from the scene in order to watch what happens at Bullington Cross, and to see the result of the election in May. Once these uncertainties have been settled, they will have a better idea what their chances of success would be at an appeal. If they think the signals are favourable, they can resubmit their application within a year and then proceed to appeal.
Further information can be found at www.soshampshiredowns.co.uk.