Saturday, 20 June 2015

Hats off to Mr Waller who took on the Council on a wind turbine and won

I am told that in 2014/2015, the Council's extra income was about £500,000 arising from its right to keep all business rates from wind/solar parks and (conservatively- their word, not mine) it expects to raise it a further £450,000 per year in the next few years.

This gives rise to clear potential conflicts of interest on planning applications on these installations.

So I was pleased to see that the Government announced on Thursday that, with immediate effect, local communities should have the final say on whether onshore wind turbines are acceptable.

Subsidies are to be withdrawn, which is a good thing in my view. Not unexpectedly, the industry is protesting.

The Council was recently slammed when its decision to approve a single turbine at Tredinnick was quashed by the courts for a catalogue of reasons, including its failure to report to the Planning Committee the concerns of English Heritage and of the National Trust as to the effect on the setting Of Grade 1 listed Trerice House.

The Council says that there are only 3 or 4 judicial reviews of its decisions each year, compared to thousands of planning applications.

I suspect that this is more to do with just how gruelling and expensive it is for individuals to take on the Council in the courts. Whatever the outcome, you are never recompensed for the money you spend and the stress you suffer. On top of that the developer can always reapply.

So hats off to Mr Waller, who took on the Council and won.

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