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Court overturns decision on Shropshire farm wind turbine

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Controversial plans to build a 24-metre wind turbine in the Shropshire countryside have been put on hold after a High Court judge intervened.

Gavin Lloyd was given planning permission by a Government inspector to put up the turbine to provide energy at his home and farm at the Old Hall Barn in Kenley, near Shrewsbury, after the proposals were turned down by Shropshire Council.

The turbine is also intended to power holiday let accommodation at the property. But yesterday the decision was quashed following a High Court challenge by local residents.

They claimed the inspector had been wrong in his view that the turbine would not have a 'significant adverse impact on recognised environmental assets' in the local area.

The application will now have to be reconsidered by another inspector.

Mr Justice Kenneth Parker said he agreed with residents' concerns that the inspector had failed to correctly apply the provisions of Shropshire Council's development plan for the area.

He found that the inspector "had no basis" for stating that the development complied with planning policies "when, on the basis of his own findings, it plainly did not, because it would cause significant adverse environmental effects".

Mr Justice Parker said it was up to the inspector to balance the non-compliance with the benefits of renewable energy production and added that if the inspector had done so, it would have been 'plain to all how precisely he had reached his final determination'. He added: "I would conclude that the error was a material one that undermined the validity of the inspector's reasoning and that the decision should accordingly be quashed."

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