United Kingdom

Lark Energy Ltd v. Secretary for State for Communities (High Court of Justice Queen Bench Division, 2014)

Jurisdiction: United Kingdom


Side A: Lark Energy Ltd (Corporation)


Side B: Secretary of State for Communities (Government)


Core objectives: Appeal refusal of a permit to build solar farm


Summary
Lark Energy Limited challenged the decision of the Secretary for State Communities (Secretary) to dismiss its appeal of the refusal of the District Council to grant planning permission for the installation of a 24 MW solar farm. Lark Energy had been granted a permit for a 14 MW solar array but then appealed to increase the installation. The inspector found that the scheme proposed on appeal should be approved because the significant benefits, including increased renewable energy and decreased greenhouse gas emissions, outweighed the limited harm to the character and appearance of the countryside. However, the Secretary disagreed, finding that the harm to the character and appearance of the area caused by the 24 MW scheme was greater than the permitted scheme such that it outweighed the benefits. Lark Energy appealed the Secretary's findings in the High Court of Justice alleging that the Secretary had failed to sufficiently consider local and national development policies. The court found that the Secretary had failed to fulfill his duty to consider whether the 24 MW scheme was in accordance with local council's development plan. The court quashed the Secretary's decision and remanded the case to him for redetermination.
Case documents

from the Grantham Research Institute
from the Grantham Research Institute
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