Luxulyan Parish Council dispute could end up with judicial review
A PARISH council could seek a judicial review to block a renewable energy application after claiming it was "let down" by its Cornwall councillor, who backed the plans.
Luxulyan Parish Council has declared it is exploring the option of seeking a judicial review after a 78-metre high wind turbine was approved.
This newspaper reported that parish council chiefs took a vote of no confidence against Simon Rix, Cornwall councillor for Bugle, when he prompted outrage by granting a planning officer delegated power to approve the application.
Speaking to the Cornish Guardian after the decision was made, Christopher Austin, parish council chairman, said the vote had been taken at an extraordinary meeting on December 30 because they had "lost faith in him completely".
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He said that Mr Rix was fully aware that the parish wished the application to go to strategic planning committee, especially when a similar application was going through the appeal process.
Mr Rix told the Cornish Guardian at the time that he had done nothing wrong and that he was answerable to the electorate – not the parish council – the majority of whom, he said, do not share the parish council's "anti-renewable views".
His comments have further angered members of the parish council who have hit back and said they plan to seek a judicial review to quash the planning permission to build the wind turbine – adding another twist to the saga.
Mr Austin has defended the parish council's stance on green technology, saying Luxulyan had already done enough to support renewable energy – and 95 per cent of the electorate feel the same.
Luxulyan already generates enough electricity for a parish twice its size and both residents and the parish council had in the past embraced green technology, installing solar panels on their homes and even parish buildings, he said.
However, they had been bombarded in the past by companies wanting to install swathes of solar panels and this continues to be the case.
"Enough is enough. We don't want our parish turned into an industrial waste ground.
"We already have 42 acres of solar panels and a further 10 acres in the pipeline. We have got to make a stand and that's what we are trying to do, said Mr Austin.
As a result of Mr Rix's action they had been left with no other option but to investigate the option of seeking a judicial review and it is seeking advice from Cornwall Council's legal department, he explained.
"I think we are duty bound to follow that route."