‘Buying’ wind turbine’s planning permission was unlawful, Supreme Court rules

Forest of Dean District Council’s decision to grant permission for a wind turbine was effectively bought unlawfully, according to a Supreme Court ruling.

It upheld the Court of Appeal’s ruling that the authority had wrongly treated a financial pledge by operator Resilient Energy Severndale as a material consideration. The firm promised to donate £600,000 plus 4% of expected turnover to good causes in the local community, around £1.1m over the 500 kilowatt turbine’s lifetime.

The council’s decision, made in August 2015, also had regard to government policy encouraging the development of community-led renewable power.

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