The National Trust, English Heritage and East Northamptonshire Council are launching a legal challenge against the decision to site a wind farm with a mile of a Grade I listed building.
The plans submitted by Barnwell Manor Wind Energy would see four 126.5 m wind turbines installed within the Lyveden New Bield site, which includes a 17th century lodge and an Elizabethan garden.
Planning permission was initially refused by the local council, but the development got the go ahead on appeal in March. Now, however, the two conservation organisations and the local council are taking legal action.
It is the first time that the local council has taken a case to this level, while National Trust and English Heritage say they rarely pursue legal action.
“We fully support renewable energy… [and] have backed a number of wind proposals where scale and setting have been considered appropriate,” says director-general of the National Trust, Fiona Reynolds.
But she says the decision to locate a wind farm of the proposed size so close to a “treasured historic place” is damaging for both Lyveden New Bield and other heritage sites in the UK.
Opponents to the development say the turbines would be visible from almost everywhere on the Lyveden New Bield site and are at odds with the landscape that harks back to the site’s Elizabethan history.
“It is regrettable that it has come to this,” says the leader of East Northamptonshire Council, Steve North, “but we fully support this legal challenge and will be working closely with the National Trust and English to protect this heritage site.”
For further information:
Onshore wind turbines “damaging” UK landscape, says CPRE (30-Apr)
Nine out of ten want to see Britain rely more on renewables (23-Apr)
UK’s National Trust to ‘grow own energy’ (11-Feb 2010)
14 May 2012