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Bedford Windfarm proposal dismissed on appeal

A proposed windfarm in Bedford has been rejected in an Appeal Decision issued in late February 2010 (ref: APP/K0235/A/09/2108506/NWF) following a planning inquiry.

Tom Cosgrove was instructed by Bedford Borough Council at the inquiry held during January 2010. The Council had refused to grant planning permission on a number of grounds. The proposal and inquiry caused a great deal of local controversy and was featured on BBC Look East.

The Appeal Decision is of particular note as the Inspector considered that the approach to assessing noise impact promoted by the developer was not supported by current government policy. The appellant had relied upon a published article by a number of noise consultants and had claimed that the approach was compliant with ETSU-R-97. Such an approach has been argued at a number of planning inquiries. In this case, the inspector agreed with the council that the approach adopted by the developer appellant to noise assessment was not robust.

The Decision also provides an increasingly rare example of a windfarm proposal being dismissed on the basis of creating an unacceptable diminution in the living conditions of nearby residents by virtue of the scale and massing of the turbines proposed.