Renewable energy operator RES UK and Ireland Limited, represented in the High Court in Belfast by Gordon Nardell QC, has succeeded in judicial review proceedings about its proposed 7-turbine wind farm at Barr Cregg, near Derry City. Gordon was called temporarily to the Bar of Northern Ireland to appear for RES, which challenged the dismissal of its appeal to the Planning Appeals Commission against refusal of planning permission by Derry City and Strabane District Council.

RES brought judicial review proceedings on two grounds. First, that the Commission had misinterpreted Northern Ireland Executive policies on the role of “compensatory measures” in striking the balance between the benefits of the wind farm and its impact on Northern Ireland Priority Habitats. Second, that it had given inadequate reasons for rejecting the views of RES’s conservation expert witness in favour of those of the Council’s witnesses.

In a judgment handed down on 21 February 2018, Mrs. Justice Keegan upheld the challenge on both grounds and quashed the Commission’s decision.