Case law: Appeal dismissed for wind farm

The secretary of state refused an application for a development consent order for the construction of a wind farm near a special protection area that supported breeding pairs of red kites.

She considered the importance of renewable energy from the wind farm against the protection of species under, at the time, the Conservation of Habitats and Species Regulations 2010. 

After deliberation on the lack of information provided by the developer, the appeal was dismissed. The developer appealed that decision, in the case of R (ota Mynnyd Y Gwynt Ltd) v Secretary of State for Business Energy and Industrial Strategy, arguing that the Secretary of State had erred in requiring certainty in relation to the information requested, instead of making a reasoned judgment on the available information. It also stated that she had reached an inconsistent conclusion about the level of risk to the red kite population compared with other wind farm proposals in the area.

Lord Justice Lewison stated that the secretary of state was not asking for absolute certainty about the red kite population but did require clarity, a view that she was entitled to take.

He also said other wind farms in the area that had been granted development consent orders were so different from this case that they could not be compared. This included the fact that two of those wind farms had no “connectivity” to the special protection area. 

The appeal was dismissed.

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