United Kingdom

High Court decision finds in favour of solar projects

On Friday 9th June, the High Court published its decision relating to two of our projects, being Sheraton Solar Farm (49.9MW) and Hulam Solar Farm (49.9MW) proposed in the county of Durham, with some of the associated transmission infrastructure located in Hartlepool.

In summary, the two local planning authorities Durham County Council and Hartlepool County Council made a judicial review challenge to various planning appeals lodged with the Planning Inspectorate relating to the two projects. Lightsource bp was an Interested Party in the proceedings.

The case considered key areas of planning law in the UK such as the appropriate planning legislation for utility scale projects, the definition of a “generating station” and other criteria, and the jurisdictional roles of both the Secretary of State and the courts in providing clarity on such distinctions. The Court determined that the projects did not comprise an NSIP, and that the Inspector did have jurisdiction to consider the appeals. Further details on the judgement can be found here.

We welcome this judgement, which provides clarity on the appropriate permitting regimes for the Sheraton and Hulam projects. We hope to now return to the stalled appeal process, and should it be successful, the two projects will help us to deliver urgently needed clean and affordable energy which will help the UK meet its Net Zero and energy security targets.


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