With the airwaves full of the Prime Minister's announcement yesterday that he would form a National Council for Democratic Renewal to, in his words, "give citizens more rights, so that they can hold people to account and so they feel their interests are better served by the political system," the final day of the Wind Farm Inquiry in Woore got underway.
This four-week inquiry has resulted from Nuon UK Ltd, a wind farm company, appealing against the decision of the democratically elected council in North Shropshire to vote against the wind farm last September. That planning meeting was attended by approximately six hundred people, virtually every one of them against Nuon's plans. Would the PM's enthusiasm for "democratic renewal" affect important local issues like this in the future, we wondered.
The Government-appointed Inspector, numerous lawyers and many expert witnesses have been working long and hard over the past month in Woore. Today was the concluding day of the inquiry before the Inspector retired to consider everything he had heard and eventually give his verdict.
It was argued that the area near Knighton being considered for the turbines has a low wind speed, is not close to an area of demand and that the local landscape of 'timbered pastures' is inappropriate for a wind farm.
The remaining barristers' summing up took up this morning but, on a baking hot day, it was a relief when all was concluded at 12.45pm and all were free to escape into the afternoon's sunshine.
It was then over to the final combatants, counsel for Shropshire County Council, Mr Timothy Jones, and for Nuon, Mr Andrew Newcombe.
And then, at 12.45, it was all over. It is not known how long it will be before the Inspector, Mr Cookson, issues his decision. There will be many anxious weeks, we suspect, before that is forthcoming.
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