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Pickles Overrules Inspector Over Three Norfolk Turbines

Cornerstone Barristers, Asitha Ranatunga for South Norfolk D.C. and Jonathan Clay acting for local amenity group "4 Villages" took on developers represented by Eversheds only two years after previous proposals for three 120 metre turbines on the same site at a previous appeal had been dismissed, principally for their impact on historic Norfolk churches.

Disagreeing with his Inspector, the Communities Secretary Eric Pickles concluded that the proposal would have an unacceptable impact on the setting of heritage buildings which would not be outweighed by the scheme's positive impacts.

Mr Pickles agreed with his Inspector that the turbines would provide "an important supply of electricity which attracts substantial weight in favour of the appeal".

But despite re-siting of the turbines, the Secretary of State considered that the adverse effect upon the setting of St Mary's Church, Rushall, a "round tower" Grade 1 listed church, as well as listed farmhouses in the vicinity, together with more limited harm to the setting of St Mary's Pulham, Church of St Mary Magdalene Pulham Market and Church of All Saints, Dickleburgh had been "underestimated by the inspector".

In particular he considered that there would be "a significant level of harm to the setting of St Mary's Rushall Church, and harm to the setting of other heritage assets" which would "outweigh the benefits of the proposals".

The Secretary of State's decision and Inspector's Report can be found here.