This was a three day public inquiry into a called-in application by the Perraton Partnership for a 34.2m height wind turbine in the South Devon AONB has concluded today. The issues in the inquiry included the extent to which the development would affect several heritage assets and the AONB, and whether that impact would be outweighed by the scheme’s benefits including the support it would give to the applicants’ substantial and energy-consuming dairy business. The Secretary of State’s decision will also shed light on his approach to the transitional provisions in the Written Ministerial Statement of 18 June 2015 on wind turbine schemes, the interpretation of which was the subject of debate between the parties.
A notable feature of the inquiry was that the applicants’ sole expert witness withdrew the entirety of his evidence during cross-examination by counsel for the Rule 6 Party objectors, having accepted that he was not, as required by the RIBA Code of Conduct, an impartial expert because he was related to the applicants.
Charles Banner appeared for the Rule 6 Party objectors, instructed by Susan Ring of Harrison Grant LLP.
On 20 January 2017 the Secretary of State announced his decision, upholding the Inspector’s recommendation to dismiss the application as contended for by the Rule 6 Party.