Broadview reacts with disappointment at High Court decision

19 Jun 2015

Broadview Energy’s appeal to the High Court to quash the Secretary of State’s decision was dismissed today by Mr Justice Cranston.   Broadview is obviously disappointed and is currently reviewing the judgement, following which it will decide whether to appeal to the Court of Appeal.

The Spring Farm Ridge project is a five turbine wind farm on agricultural land between the villages of Greatworth, Helmdon and Sulgrave, in Northamptonshire, and was the subject of a Public Inquiry that was held in October 2013, during which the Secretary of State intervened, recovering the decision for himself.  The Secretary of State refused planning permission in December 2014, against the recommendation of the Planning Inspector who had conducted the two week Public Inquiry.

Two independent Planning Inspectors have now seen fit to approve the project as it was also subject to an earlier Public Inquiry in July 2012 wherein it was allowed.  That approval was struck down on a technicality by the High Court in January 2013 prompting the second Public Inquiry. 

Broadview’s Managing Director, Jeffrey Corrigan, said: “We are very disappointed with Mr Justice Cranston’s ruling.  Whilst he recognised the blatant breaches of the government’s Propriety Guidance on the part of Andrea Leadsom and Kris Hopkins, he dismissed their behaviour as being in the ordinary course of Westminster business.  Throughout the process government officials were advising Broadview to pay strict attention to the Propriety Guidance, so we can’t help be troubled by Mr Justice Cranston’s apparent double standard.  

Interestingly, this judgement comes on the day following an announcement by the government to give local people a much greater say over wind farm applications in their area.  We find the Tory fervour over localism with respect to wind farms incredibly hypocritical, given that local people are completely ignored on other planning issues such as HS2.  Whilst Andrea Leadsom has campaigned vigorously against wind farms in her constituency, she was notably absent for a vote in the House of Commons on the HS2 enabling legislation.  An issue which is equally, if not more, important to members of her constituency.”