New Windfarm Policy is Dangerous Dogs Act Standard of Bad Drafting

Here

Vague, and bound to increase JR, lets take a look

Subject to the transitional provision set out below, these considerations will take effect from 18 June and should be taken into account in planning decisions. I am also making a limited number of consequential changes to planning guidance. When determining planning applications for wind energy development involving one or more wind turbines, local planning authorities should only grant planning permission if:

· the development site is in an area identified as suitable for wind energy development in a Local or Neighbourhood Plan; and

· following consultation, it can be demonstrated that the planning impacts identified by affected local communities have been fully addressed and therefore the proposal has their backing.

In applying these new considerations, suitable areas for wind energy development will need to have been allocated clearly in a Local or Neighbourhood Plan. Maps showing the wind resource as favourable to wind turbines, or similar, will not be sufficient. Whether a proposal has the backing of the affected local community is a planning judgement for the local planning authority.

Where a valid planning application for a wind energy development has already been submitted to a local planning authority and the development plan does not identify suitable sites, the following transitional provision applies. In such instances, local planning authorities can find the proposal acceptable if, following consultation, they are satisfied it has addressed the planning impacts identified by affected local communities and therefore has their backing.

The first clause only applies in those cases where a local plan identifies suitable areas and it is outside them – rare.  In almost all such cases criteria based policies still apply, so what happens then is the plan now out of date?

What happens if an application is controversial ecaue of impacts, such as wind shear noise, that following careful study and the judgement of an inspector is found to be invalid, but as always happens many of the public simply dont accept the sceince.  If a consideration is immaterial in planning law can it be taken into account?  Is irrational fears a material planning consideration – the caselaw says yes – however in the past the now sadly abolished ‘Planning system general principles’ would give short shrift to objections relating to immaterial issues.

The dogs act drafting is in ‘· following consultation, it can be demonstrated that the planning impacts identified by affected local communities have been fully addressed and therefore the proposal has their backing.

Can be demonstrated is not the same as is demonstrated, what if  planning officers or an inspector considers the issues fully addressed but objectors still object?  It is not a matter of planning judgement to weigh objections on a scale.  What if an LPA says to an inspector forget the facts it is our opinion and that of the local community that matters.  The problem is the lack of any kind of structure to weigh and balance material considerations now that the opposite of NPPF para. 14 seems to apply only in the case of windfarms – uintenable.  Take Chris Grayings commons statement and substitute housing for windfarms and you see the way the wind is blowing.

 

2 thoughts on “New Windfarm Policy is Dangerous Dogs Act Standard of Bad Drafting

  1. See the latest article in Planning, Energy Secretary appeared to tell House of Commons yesterday that there will be no right of appeal against refusal of wind turbines.

  2. I read the first clause as a veto on any wind farms unless there is a development plan with a positive allocation for windfarms – very COMMON
    NOT
    “The first clause only applies in those cases where a local plan identifies suitable areas and it is outside them – rare.”

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