Sunday Times Q & A – Challenging a Wind Turbine Consent
Rural expert Philip Eddell answers a variety of readers questions in the Sunday Times
Q. I live in the countryside and a year ago a neighbour got permission for a wind turbine despite concerted local opposition. It is not yet being constructed. What are the time constraints on this sort of planning permission? MBB, Gloucestershire
A. The first step is to check the planning consent and the attached conditions – there will normally be a time limit for implementation. Usually it will be three years, although the planning authority does have a discretion to impose different limits.
If an applicant wants to extend the time limit, then another application needs to be submitted, alternatively if the consent lapses completely before it is implemented, a completely new application will need to be submitted.
The definition of ‘implementation‘ can be a grey area, but usually means the minimum of either demolition, construction of foundations or the laying of services. Once work has started there may be no limit on how long it takes to complete the works, and the consent could be kept ‘alive’ indefinitely.
If you wish to challenge the original grant of the planning consent, then this can only be done by way of a Judicial Review on the basis that the proper procedures were not followed when the application was originally considered by the planning authority. This can be expensive, and any application would need to be submitted within six weeks of the date of the planning decision. For this you would obviously need legal advice; but I’m afraid you would now be out of time in this instance.