The Inspector, Philip Major BA(Hons) DipTP MRTPI allowed the appeal against the refusal of permission by Maidstone Borough Council after a seven-day public inquiry.
Planning permission had been refused on five grounds, although two (biodiversity and noise) were dropped by the Council before the Inquiry started. The three remaining grounds related to whether the use of Best and Most Versatile Agricultural Land had been justified, landscape and visual impact, and impact on the setting of various listed buildings.
The decision letter includes some useful consideration of the approach to the justification of the use of Best and Most Versatile Agricultural Land, following competing legal submissions on behalf of the two main parties.
Hereward Phillpot KC appeared on behalf of Statkraft UK Ltd, the successful appellant.
A copy of the decision letter can be found here.