Appeal Decision APP/P2114/A/10/2125561
3 No. wind turbine generators with hub height of 65 m and rotor diameter of 90 m (tip height 110 m), control building, access tracks,underground electrical cables and temporary construction compound
.The application drawings included Figure 2.1 “Front Elevation, Generic 3 MWClass Wind Turbine (based on Vestas V90)”, which depicts a 125 m highturbine with 80 m hub height. This was subsequently replaced by revisedFigure 2.1.
The revised scheme is referred to as the ‘110 m scheme’ in thisdecision.10.
The Council, ThWART and local parish councils object to the amendment at theappeal stage. The parish councils are particularly concerned about consultationbecause local residents may not have been aware of the press advertisement,or might not have had access to relevant websites.
ThWART cite the PlanningInspectorate’s PINS Note 09/2009, which advises, amongst other things, thatthe appeal process should not be a means to progress alternatives to a schemethat has been refused or a chance to amend a scheme so as to overcome thereasons for refusal.
It adds that if consultation on an amended scheme isconsidered necessary the appellant should normally be expected to seek togain permission for a revised scheme using the free service for re-submittedapplications. However, the Note also states that where amendments areproposed to a scheme, the Inspector will be guided by the
principles, and that there may be occasions where amendments could be madeto a scheme without prejudice to the delivery of a fair and more efficientsystem.
ThWART refers to an Inspector’s report which found that a proposed alterationrequiring additional land would be substantial, and that this would conflict withthe underlying principle that any changes should be minor. I share theappellants’ reservations about whether the reference to a minor change is anappropriate representation of the
principles. In this regard PINSNote 09/2009 advises that whilst amendments to a scheme might be thoughtto be of little significance, in some cases even minor changes may beconsidered to materially alter the nature of an application and lead to possibleprejudice. I have also taken into account ThWART’s submission that it wouldbe disadvantaged because of its limited resources. It argues that it is unable,for the 110 m scheme, to provide the substantive and comprehensive responsethat it prepared for the original application. I understand that resources forsuch local organisations are limited, but it seems to me that ThWART might bein a similar position if the amendment were to be rejected and the appellantspursued the matter by means of a new application.12.
ThWART and the Council refer to the judgement in
British Telecommunications plc
, which commented, in respect of appeals, that there will be more limitedscope to accept what is in effect an amended application at that juncture.
The judgement went on to add that it will not be possible at that stage, forexample, to permit further consultation, and that it would plainly not beappropriate to grant planning permission in circumstances where the statutoryrequirements have not been complied with. However, in the appeal before me,
ID Appell 38.
ID Other 1.
PINS Good Practice Advice Note 09/2009
Accepting amendments to schemes at appeal
Bernard Wheatcroft Ltd v SSE
(1982) 43 P. & C.R. 233.
British Telecommunications Plc Bloomsbury Land Investments and Gloucester City Council,