Court will not hear New Works Solar Farm appeal
The High Court will not hear an appeal against New Works Solar Farm after it was granted planning permission by a government minister earlier this year.
Telford & Wrekin Council mounted a legal challenge against the farm and neighbouring Steeraway Solar Farm, which together, will cover 230 acres and blight the landscape surrounding the Wrekin for generations to come.
The council’s planning committee refused planning permission for the 99-acre New Works solar farm between Arleston and Lawley and the government’s local planning inspector agreed with that view, but a minister at the Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities overruled this in March, giving the solar farm the green light.
In May 2023, another government-appointed planning inspector then approved the Steeraway Solar Farm development. In making the decision the inspector considered the Secretary of State’s decision at New Works and relied on this heavily to justify the decision to approve the second development.
Deputy Leader of the Council and Cabinet Member for Homes and Enforcement, Councillor Richard Overton said: “First confirmation that the court will not hear our case against Steeraway Solar Farm and now New Works on the basis of a legal technicality and despite the minister not seeing the site.”
“Anyone who lives in the borough knows that the area surrounding the Wrekin is a much loved beauty-spot which has been treasured across generations. Not only that, in planning terms, it’s classed as Strategic Landscape, which should be offered extra protection. The minister decided that extra protection does not apply.
“As a council, we support green energy production – we are one of a handful of councils who own their own solar farm - but this shouldn’t be at the expense of our most important green space.
“It is bitterly disappointing, but we have run out of options to challenge the decision further.”