Despite resistance from local residents, the Dutch Council of State has officially decided that the N33 wind park can move forward.
Translation by Traci White
The Groninger Internet Courant reports that the 35 wind turbine array in the east Groningen town Meeden has officially received the seal of approval by the highest administrative court in the country. The council began considering the case back in January and concluded this week that the objections filed against the plans moving forward were unsubstantiated.
A group of around 20 Groningers had hung their hopes on the Aarhus Convention, a document created by 40 European countries establishing rules on who has a say on environmental matters, such as building wind parks. They felt that the plans were more or less set in stone before any public discussions took place, and were concerned about how the wind turbines would disturb the natural landscape and be a disruptive presence.
Midden Groningen mayor Adriaan Hoogendoorn expressed mixed feelings about the ruling. “On the one hand, it’s a good thing that sustainable energy sources exist in the Netherlands, but on the other hand, such initiatives should not dramatically outweigh the interest of the individual residents, the liveability and nature of the area. That appears to be the case here, which is a shame.”
Other wind turbine plans in the region have faced violent resistance: activists opposed to the creation of a wind park along the N33 in Drenthe have sent threatening letters to companies they believe are connected to the plans, as well as spreading asbestos at the train station in Delfzijl. Plans for a wind park in the Eemshaven have also faced opposition from the municipality of Oldambt, which has refused to allow the transportation of heavy wind turbine components en route to the harbour.
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