Inspector rules out compensation from Council in rejecting appeal for Bingley turbine

Bradford Telegraph and Argus: A wind turbine A wind turbine

Bradford’s taxpayers have avoided a bill of more than £200,000 after a planning inspector decided councillors were right to refuse a proposed wind turbine in Bingley.

Brendan Hudson’s plans for an 18m-high turbine at High Eldwick were turned down by Bradford Council’s Keighley and Shipley area planning committee last November.

In February, Mr Hudson lodged an appeal against that decision, accusing the committee of acting unacceptably and alleging they had not read the application properly.

He already had permission for a 15m turbine on the Green Belt site at Ramsgill, off Otley Road, dating back to 2010, but applied to replace this with a larger one to generate more electricity.

Despite support from the Council’s planning officers, the committee refused the application, saying there was not enough evidence to justify the additional height.

In his subsequent appeal Mr Hudson claimed the turbine would have generated £1,160,000 worth of electricity over the next 20 years if approved.

But last December the feed-in tariff rate dropped from 25.4p per kilowatt hour to 21p, meaning that if the appeal had been successful, the turbine would have brought in £200,991 less than if Mr Hudson had registered it last year.

He lodged a claim for loss of income to this amount, to be paid by the Council, and in his appeal said: “The planning committee have not behaved in an acceptable or reasonable way to the extent that, by refusing the application, they have caused the applicant to suffer a reduction in the income he would have received from the installation.

“The reasons that have been cited for refusal clearly demonstrate that the members of the committee failed to either read or properly digest the information that accompanied the application.”

Almost ten months later, planning inspector Alan Robinson has turned down the appeal and, on the request for costs, his ruling says: “It is clear that such an award of costs cannot encompass indirect losses, such as a drop in income because of a delay incurred in obtaining planning permission.”

Mr Robinson said the turbine would be harmful to the Green Belt and to the amenity of anyone living in a nearby property called The Moorlands.

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