Zephyr Investments Ltd.
4.8MW 12 Turbines
South Lakeland District Council
Energy and Waste
Key Project Information
- Public enquiry into South Lakeland District Council’s refusal in 2017 to extend the life of Kirkby Moor Wind Farm;
- One of the country’s oldest wind farms, coming online in August 1993;
- The application had sought permission to vary the temporary time condition to allow retention of turbine until 31st March 2027 followed by a further year to carry out decommissioning works;
- The Planning Inspectorate for England and Wales allowed the appeal and planning permission was granted for 15 wind turbines and associated works (amended to 12 wind turbines);
- Inquiry hinged on whether the time extension was effectively the same as repowering the site as defined by the NPPF, which the inspector concluded to be the case.
The time extension application for planning permission was turned down on the grounds that it posed a detrimental visual impact to a region recently awarded UNESCO World Heritage Site status. But the subsequent appeal was upheld.
Much of the inquiry hinged on whether the time extension was effectively the same as repowering the site, as defined by the UK National Planning Policy Framework (NPPF), which the inspectorate concluded to be the case.
The NPPF first states that, unlike new wind farms, repowering projects for existing wind farms do not require the support of the local community to go ahead. The district council, opposed to the extension, also questioned whether letting Kirkby Moor continue operating the same as it has done for the past quarter of a century could be directly described as repowering.
“An important milestone case”, insofar as how ‘repowering’ should be defined. Repowering is an umbrella term, under which life extension and also replanting is found, whereby all the turbines are replaced with – typically – fewer but larger turbines with more capacity.
Chris Calvert – Executive Director, Pegasus Group
Kirkby Moor Wind Farm, on the southern boundary of the Lake District National Park, first became operation in August 1993, with permission for a lifespan of 25 years.
A planning application seeking permission to vary the temporary time condition to allow retention of the turbines until 31st March 2027 was rejected by South Lakeland District Council.
The application was allowed on appeal.