Page last updated at 17:35 GMT, Wednesday, 25 June 2008 18:35 UK

Wind farm challenge is thrown out

A High Court judge has thrown out a challenge by North Devon District Council to plans to build Devon's biggest wind farm.

The council had opposed the plans for 22 turbines at Fullabrook Down on landscape, noise and policy grounds.

Permission has been granted for the turbines - part of plans to provide 10% of the UK's energy through renewable sources by 2010.

Mr Justice Sullivan said he would give the reasons for his decision on Friday.

'Impressive' report

The plans were agreed last year by the Secretary of State for Business, John Hutton, but the council said the impact on the area and local people outweighed any benefits.

The wind farm, north of Barnstaple, would be about 20km (12miles) from Exmoor National Park and the biggest in the South West.

The 110m (360ft) tall turbines are three times the height of existing ones in Cornwall and twice the height of Nelson's column.

Devon Wind Power, which is behind the scheme, says the wind farm would generate enough power for the annual needs of 30,000 domestic users, or 30% of total electricity consumption in north Devon.

Dismissing the council's challenge on Tuesday the judge said he was not persuaded there were "arguable grounds on which to seek judicial review".

The judge described the report of the Government inspector, dealing with the impact of the wind farm on the local landscape, as "most impressive and meticulous".


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