The Secretary of State Eric Pickles has rejected the Appeal for the Dorcas Lane wind farm!

The Planning Inspector who presided over the Appeal Hearing back in the summer recommended that the appeal be dismissed and planning permission be refused. The Secretary of State has agreed with the Inspector’s conclusions on the Appeal and with her recommendations. You can read the full report here

This is truly fantastic news and the best Christmas present that we could have asked for.

The Developer now has 6 weeks to challenge the decision via the High Court, but the Secretary of State’s decision is a hugely important one and we remain absolutely convinced that common sense will finally prevail and this ill-judged development – driven by financial greed rather than any well-intended or well-planned green agenda – is about to be laid to rest for good.

It has been 3 and a half years since this development was first thrust upon us. Our success in taking on and defeating the developer Force 9 Energy and their financial backer EDF is, in its entirety, due to the hard work of a few and the great support – financial and emotional – of many. We are indebted to our District Councillors Neil and Janet Blake and our local MP John Bercow for their help and advice and all 6 local Parish Councils for their unwavering support. Most of all we are grateful to all of you for always rising to the challenge, whether it be attending events, providing donations or signing petitions and writing letters. It has sustained us when we have been at our lowest ebb to know the level of support on which we could count.

End of Public Inquiry into Dorcas Lane Wind Farm appeal

The 8-day Public Inquiry hearings by the Planning Inspectorate into the Dorcas Lane wind farm Appeal have been completed. The Appeal was against AVDC’s refusal of planning consent.

The Planning Inspector heard evidence from Force 9 Energy and EDF who appealed for consent to build the wind farm, and AVDC together with the Stop Dorcas Lane Turbines (SDLT) action group both opposing it. Evidence was taken from several Expert Witnesses and Legal Counsel for each party contested the case.

After receiving final written submissions, the Inspector, Ms Jessica Graham, will now submit a report and recommendations to the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government, the Rt. Hon Eric Pickles MP, who will announce his decision, expected early in 2015.

Joseph Cresswell, Vice Chairman of SDLT said :

Completion of this Public Inquiry will mark the end of a 3 year fight to stop this inappropriate development by thousands of local people across the 8 settlements blighted by it. SDLT was pleased to challenge the Appeal alongside AVDC and we believe all the competing arguments have been thoroughly examined.

Some 50 SDLT members and other public speakers presented powerful evidence of the real harm it would cause. We trust that, as required by the Government, the Inspector will attach significant weight not only to the many valid planning objections but also to the thousands of petition signatures and letters of opposition submitted.

We were delighted that our constituency MP, the Rt. Hon. John Bercow MP, also made time to attend the Inquiry, where he defended the democratic rights of his constituents in a powerful speech.

The shadow of this development will hang over us all for several more months. But we remain confident that all those who have united in opposition to it will finally be vindicated.

Note for Editors :

The Planning Application for the Dorcas Lane Wind Farm was refused consent by AVDC on 20 March 2013. The developers, F9E and EDF, subsequently appealed against this decision.

To arrange an interview with SDLT, please contact : Jonathan Pope 07799 764964 or jdpope@btinternet.com


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