Wind farm planning inquiry
Den Brook wind farm was originally consented in 2007 following a refusal of consent by West Devon Borough Council. This consent was, however, challenged in the courts by the local opposition group and was subsequently quashed requiring a second Public Inquiry. Although evidence on noise had not been heard at the first Inquiry, the nature of the challenge, which focused on noise issues, meant that noise evidence would be heard the second time around.
We were contacted by the developer, Renewable Energy Systems, and asked to provide evidence and assistance with the second Inquiry. The requirement was to provide a fresh view on the noise issues arising and an updated assessment submitted to the new Inquiry. This work was commenced in 2008 and included updated baseline noise measurements, re-derived noise limits and new noise predictions which demonstrated compliance with national planning policy on noise from wind farms.
This updated assessment was submitted with evidence presented to the re-convened inquiry by Andy McKenzie in 2009 which was filmed throughout by the BBC for its programme Wind Farm Wars which had been following the project from its outset. Opposition was substantial with evidence being presented for the local objection group by a professional noise witness as well as by the Planning Director at the Renewable Energy Foundation and an objector from a wind farm in Lincolnshire who were all called by the objection group's QC.
Den Brook wind farm was subsequently re-consented following the second inquiry with the planning inspector concluding that 'the effect of the scheme is likely to fall within the limits which were designed, in part, for the protection of wind farm neighbours'. This second consent was then challenged again through the courts but with the decision ultimately being allowed to stand and with construction commencing mid-2015.
Further details can be found on Wikipedia https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Den_Brook_Wind_Farm