Wind Farm Objector Falls Foul of Strict Legal Time Limit

wind farmIf you are unhappy with a planning decision which affects you, strict legal time limits apply and it is vital to seek professional advice immediately. In one case, a major wind farm development was given the green light by the High Court after an objector launched a challenge to the proposals one day too late.

The Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change had granted development consent for construction of 32 wind turbines amidst woodland in north Wales. An objector who lived nearby launched a judicial review challenge, claiming that insufficient account had been taken of European habitat protection directives.

Under Section 118 of the Planning Act 2008, the objector had six weeks after publication of the Secretary of State’s decision in which to lodge proceedings. That deadline was missed by one day. In those circumstances, the Court declined to rule on the merits of the man’s case and ruled that it had no jurisdiction to consider the matter. The time limit prescribed by statute was immutable and could not be extended.