Community wind group takes case to Court of Appeal
1 February 2017
The crowdfunding campaign for this community energy project has now closed. Resilient Energy Severndale were successful and raised £15,095 in total. This money will go towards covering their legal costs as they take their community energy case to the Court of Appeal.
Back in April 2016, a proposed community wind turbine development in the Forest of Dean, Gloucestershire, was blocked by the High Court. This is despite it having the backing of the majority of local residents and having been given planning permission by the local council.
However, the community, the council and the developers Resilient Energy have now been granted permission to take the planning decision one step further up the legal ladder – to the Court of Appeal.
A crowdfunder page has been set up raise money to cover the legal costs. It has currently reached 30% of its target with another two weeks to run, so please share the link!
The High Court's decision to overturn the local authority's planning approval last year was based on the way 'community benefit' – a legally defined term referring to the social, environmental and economic advantages that the proposed project brings to the neighbourhood – had been interpreted by the local planning authority when planning approval for the turbine had been granted. The case had been brought by a small group of local anti-wind activists.
The Court of Appeal decision will determine whether the project finally gets the go ahead. It will also have significant implications for community energy schemes across the country as it will provide legal certainty around the issue of community benefits where these are a relevant planning consideration.