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Supreme Court grants permission to Resilient Energy to appeal on the question of whether a community benefit fund can be a material planning consideration

DATE: 03 May 2018

Permission has been granted to appeal the Court of Appeal’s decision in Forest of Dean DC and Resilient Energy v. R (oao Wright) [2017] EWCA Civ 2102, in which the Court of Appeal upheld the decision of Dove J quashing planning permission for a wind turbine in Gloucestershire.

It was proposed that the turbine would be erected and run by a community benefit society and the planning application included a representation that an annual donation would be made to a local community fund based on 4% of turnover from the operation of the turbine. This factor was taken into account by the Council when granting planning permission. Both the High Court and Court of Appeal accepted the Claimant’s argument and held that the Council had acted unlawfully in taking it into account as it was not a material planning consideration.

In its application for permission to appeal to the Supreme Court, Resilient Energy contends that the community fund is a material consideration, not least because it would further the Government’s legitimate planning policy objective of encouraging local community involvement in renewable energy schemes and providing positive local benefits from renewable energy development.

On 2 May 2018, the Supreme Court granted the application for permission to appeal.

Jenny Wigley is junior Counsel for Resilient Energy, the successful applicant for permission to appeal. 

Neil Cameron QC and Zack Simons act for Mr Wright, the original claimant and respondent to the appeal.