Campaigners lose legal fight against controversial Princes Gate turbines plan

Western Telegraph: (Library picture). (Library picture).

The controversial proposal for south Pembrokeshire’s tallest wind turbines looks set to be going ahead after the failure of the latest legal challenge by objectors.

In May, Pembrokeshire County Council approved the plan by Princes Gate Spring Water for a pair of 86.5m high, 800kw turbines, which led protestors to apply for a judicial review against the decision.

However, the council’s handling of the application for land at Middleton Top, near Ludchurch, has now been backed by a High Court judge who has dismissed the claim.

The ruling - with no leave to appeal - has left local residents ‘devastated’, said Mary Sinclair, chairman of the Pembrokeshire branch for the Campaign for the Protection of Rural Wales (CPRW).

She said that homes only 400m from the site will have direct views of the turbines, and the future of the Belle Vue Equestrian Centre - whose horses have enjoyed national and international success - would be in jeopardy.

Added Mrs Sinclair: “Residents had previously supported Princes Gate Spring Water and their investment in renewable energy, and requested that they locate their turbines on ground they own, adjacent to their water-bottling plant.

“The only response from the planners was to pretend that residents wanted the turbines in the factory car park.”

The problems caused to horses by moving shadows from turbine blades had been highlighted by the turbine developers, said Mrs Sinclair.

“Yet the planning authority has set no condition to protect the centre, nor was any background noise monitoring undertaken there, nor at any other home directly affected by the development.”

The judicial review challenge had been mounted by the objectors on two grounds.

They claimed that the officer’s report to the committee was flawed, as it did not find the proposal contrary to the Local Development Plan (LDP).

They also claimed that the Environmental Impact Assessment Screening Opinion was defective.

The High Court hearing took place in Cardiff, where Judge Hickenbottom dismissed both grounds. He noted that in assessing the potential impact on the historic environment, the committee report had been prepared with ‘patent care’ and that it weighed and balanced the competing policies within the LDP.

He ordered costs in favour of the council.

The authority’s planning committee agreed to the development last year on the basis that the benefits of terms of the contribution to the generation of renewable energy outweighed any adverse impacts.

This was the second time that the proposal had been given the go-ahead by the committee. In November 2012, residents threatened a judicial review, and in February 2013, the plan was quashed after the council decided not to contest the challenge.

Princes Gate Spring Water plans to use the energy generated by the turbines to help power its new, state-of-the-art bottle blowing plant.

Operations director, Endaf Edwards, said on Monday that the company did not want to comment at the moment, as they felt that the matter was between the objectors and Pembrokeshire County Council.

Comments (7)

Please log in to enable comment sorting

6:48pm Tue 11 Mar 14

Hyper-injunctions says...

It's nice to see the big guys triumph for once.
If you don't want a massive turbine near your house, don't take on a wealthy company. Simples.
It's nice to see the big guys triumph for once. If you don't want a massive turbine near your house, don't take on a wealthy company. Simples. Hyper-injunctions
  • Score: -8

8:28pm Tue 11 Mar 14

princes gate says...

as usual pure greed to the fore 750 000 per annum to the owners of princes gate water for 15 years index linked they could buy a lot of electricity for a fraction of that but have turned all the local people against them hoping local people stop using plas hyfryd and buying their water dai and glyn no mates
as usual pure greed to the fore 750 000 per annum to the owners of princes gate water for 15 years index linked they could buy a lot of electricity for a fraction of that but have turned all the local people against them hoping local people stop using plas hyfryd and buying their water dai and glyn no mates princes gate
  • Score: -2

9:32am Wed 12 Mar 14

PembrokeshireMan says...

Money talks, money talks.
Dirty cash I want you, dirty cash I need you, oh.
Money talks, money talks. Dirty cash I want you, dirty cash I need you, oh. PembrokeshireMan
  • Score: 0

1:05pm Wed 12 Mar 14

olliekaya says...

Why should we just accept a huge turbine by our house... how ignorant and selfish are you? We've lived at our house for years, just because some greedy person then comes along and buys the land next to our house does not give them a right to ruin our lives and make our property worthless. Utter greed!!!

Nearly the whole of the village hate these people because of what they've done. I even see people talk to them who cant stand them... quite funny!!! They have no consideration for anybody other than themselves. I hope their money makes them very happy.... with the only friends being the ones they can no doubt buy !!
Why should we just accept a huge turbine by our house... how ignorant and selfish are you? We've lived at our house for years, just because some greedy person then comes along and buys the land next to our house does not give them a right to ruin our lives and make our property worthless. Utter greed!!! Nearly the whole of the village hate these people because of what they've done. I even see people talk to them who cant stand them... quite funny!!! They have no consideration for anybody other than themselves. I hope their money makes them very happy.... with the only friends being the ones they can no doubt buy !! olliekaya
  • Score: -1

1:10pm Wed 12 Mar 14

olliekaya says...

Dont take on a wealthy company? What does this suggest??? They can pay people off to get what they want?? We all know this has happened!!!
Dont take on a wealthy company? What does this suggest??? They can pay people off to get what they want?? We all know this has happened!!! olliekaya
  • Score: 0

4:41pm Wed 12 Mar 14

Eckysense says...

Very sad news for local residents and home owners. The company name will now always be synonymous with "greed". Another example of the council ignoring the preference of local residents.
Very sad news for local residents and home owners. The company name will now always be synonymous with "greed". Another example of the council ignoring the preference of local residents. Eckysense
  • Score: -1

8:11pm Thu 13 Mar 14

tarkle says...

Sad news indeed for the residents, sad for Pembrokeshire, sad for horse-riders, sad for tourists. Pembrokeshire is becoming an industrial landscape bit by bit. Planning laws must change to stop these large turbines being plonked into the middle of the countryside and upsetting the lives of so many innocent people. People have fought so hard and so strong for many months. It's a disaster......
Sad news indeed for the residents, sad for Pembrokeshire, sad for horse-riders, sad for tourists. Pembrokeshire is becoming an industrial landscape bit by bit. Planning laws must change to stop these large turbines being plonked into the middle of the countryside and upsetting the lives of so many innocent people. People have fought so hard and so strong for many months. It's a disaster...... tarkle
  • Score: -1

Comments are closed on this article.

click2find

About cookies

We want you to enjoy your visit to our website. That's why we use cookies to enhance your experience. By staying on our website you agree to our use of cookies. Find out more about the cookies we use.

I agree