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Two years ago English Heritage Chief executive Simon Thurley tweeted “Despicable & disastrous decision ….. If built it will spoil a very special place forever.” Settle down though Oswestry, it wasn’t about your hill fort. It was about Lyveden New Bield, a National Trust property in Northamptonshire threatened by a wind farm development.

Despite the massive expense, EH, NT and Northants Council fought and won landmark victories against the proposals first in the High Court and recently in the Court of Appeal. The Times reported that the case was being watched closely by the wind-power industry as it was “expected to set a precedent on how much protection heritage sites have from turbines”. Well, they have their answer now, the wind farm plans have been scrapped and the decision will sit very nicely as a benchmark in EH’s new Heritage Planning Case Database.

It has effectively established that in very crass instances damage to heritage assets by wind farms shouldn’t be allowed. Wouldn’t it be great if now EH and Shropshire Council fought just as hard to establish that in very crass instances damage to heritage assets by housing developments shouldn’t be allowed?

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[See our articles on Lyveden New Bield here]

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