High Court backs South Northamptonshire MP for representing constituents’ views on wind farm

Andrea Leadsom, South Northamptonshire MP NNL-150126-164742001
Andrea Leadsom, South Northamptonshire MP NNL-150126-164742001

A court has ruled that the MP for South Northamptonshire did not act inappropriately by presenting her constituents’ views to the Government in a planning case over a wind farm.

Andrea Leadsom MP has welcomed the ruling by the High Court to dismiss Broadview Energy’s attempt to overturn the Secretary of State for Community and Local Government’s decision to refuse planning permission for the Spring Farm Ridge wind farm, a proposed development of five wind turbines between Greatworth, Helmdon and Sulgrave.

Mrs Leadsom said: “Broadview Energy claimed that the Secretary of State’s decision had been unduly influenced by me. They suggested that my frequent letters and approaches to ministers in support of my constituents was inappropriate and influenced his decision to turn down the wind farm appeal.

“I am absolutely delighted by Lord Justice Cranston’s decision.

“It would have been a terrible day for democracy if the judge had decided MPs are unable to make representations to fellow MPs on behalf of the communities they represent.

“I would like to take this opportunity to commend residents and campaigners for their determined efforts to protect their community from what is clearly an unwelcome development.”

In a written statement on the decision, Lord Justice Cranston said: “As elected representatives of individual constituencies, one of the functions of the modern MP is to take up constituency issues.

“These may be issues facing one constituent, a group of constituents, or the constituency as a whole.

“This lobbing of ministers by MPs is part and parcel of the representative role of a constituency MP.

“It would be quite wrong for a court to conclude that there was anything improper with it as a matter of law.

“Andrea Leadsom MP was acting perfectly properly, as a diligent constituency MP, although in this case it just so happened that her political judgement aligned with her constituents’ interests.”

Broadview Energy are understood to be considering taking the issue to the Court of Appeal.