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Wildland Ltd. and the Welbeck Estates v. Scottish Ministers

Jurisdiction: United Kingdom

Side A: Wildland Ltd. (Ngo)

Side B: Scottish Minister (Government)

Core objectives: Determine adequacy of justification for approval of wind farm

Petitioners asked the court to overturn the approval of a 22-turbine, 50 megawatt on-shore wind farm on the grounds that the Scottish Ministers who issued the decision failed to offer "clear and cogent" reasons for doing so in light of adverse impacts to the region's distinctive character and wilderness areas. The petitioners emphasized that Scottish National Heritage (SNH) had recommended against approval of the wind farm because of its adverse impacts, and that the Town & Country Planning (Scotland) Act 1997 requires the Ministers to consult with SNH and others. However, the Highland Council, the local planning authority, had concluded that the wind farm would have minimal impacts on view sheds. The court rejected the petitioners' arguments. It explained that the Ministers were not required to agree with the recommendations they received from consulting bodies, but only to explain their decision in full and to respond to points raised by consulting bodies if necessary. Because the Ministers' explanation reflected a balancing of the relevant factors and met the "clear and cogent" standard in the court's view, it would stand.
Case documents

from the Grantham Research Institute
from the Grantham Research Institute
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