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High Court blocks plans for giant wind farm


The High Court has blocked plans for a giant wind farm at the Duke of Gloucester’s Barnwell Manor in Northamptonshire after English Heritage and the National Trust challenged the development.

West Coast Energy had planned to build four 300ft turbines on farmland belonging to Barnwell Manor in Sudborough that would have produced clean energy sufficient to power about 4,300 local homes.

However, the plans were opposed on the grounds that the giant wind turbines would spoil the views at nearby historical sites, such as Lyveden New Bield, a 17th-century lodge with one of Britain’s best examples of an Elizabethan garden.

The ruling in this heritage site test case is likely to have significant consequences for the development of the wind-power industry. The National Trust is considering opposing up to 25 proposed developments at stately homes and environmentally sensitive sites.

A National Trust spokesman 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.”

RenewableUK, a wind and marine energy association, sought to play down the ruling’s significance. A spokesman said: “It would be wrong to suggest that any kind of precedent has been set on this occasion as each wind farm application is considered on a case-by-case basis.”