A2 Lage Rooijen citizen wind farm zoning plan adopted again

On 9 December 2021, the Maasdriel municipal council adopted the zoning plan “Burgerwindpark A2 Lage Rooijen” as amended. This allows the municipality to restore a decision on the environmental assessment. This restoration decision can then be taken into consideration when the Council of State assesses the appeals.

The Burgerwindpark A2 Lage Rooijen is a (50:50) initiative of Coöperatie Bommelerwaar and Green Trust consultancy. The plan provides for the realisation of three wind turbines east of the A2 motorway, near the Kerkdriel exit, in the Maasdriel municipality (province of Gelderland).

At the end of 2020, the Maasdriel municipal council approved the zoning plan, the environmental permit, the water permit (Rivierenland water board) and the exemption from the Nature Protection Act (Gelderland province) for the wind farm.

Council of State ruling

An appeal against these decisions was lodged with the Council of State. On 30 June 2021, the Administrative Jurisdiction Division of the Council of State ruled that the wind turbine standards drawn up by the national government may no longer be used for decisions on the construction of wind farms. It concerns the standards for noise pollution, impact shadow, safety and light pollution from wind turbines. These standards are included in the Activities Decree (Activiteitenbesluit) and the Environmental Management (Activities) Regulations (Activiteitenregeling).

This judgment is the direct result of the EU Court of Justice’s Nevele judgment of June 2020. In the Nevele case the EU Court ruled that under Directive 2001/42/EC on the assessment of the effects of certain plans and programmes on the environment, an environmental assessment should be carried out in line with the Directive for various wind farm effects prior to issuing permits for placing wind turbines.

Municipalities may, however, apply their own standards for noise and light pollution, impact shadows and safety. For this reason, independent research into the environmental standards was carried out on behalf of the Maasdriel municipality and assessed by the environmental service. It shows that there is no reason to use other standards locally than those of the national government, which the municipal council agreed to last year.

Remedial decision

On 9 December 2021, the municipal council again agreed to and adopted the standards in a remedial decision. As a result, the zoning plan was amended and the environmental permits for the wind farm were granted again. The remedial decision is available for inspection at the Maasdriel municipality for a period of 6 weeks. If everything goes according to plan, the A2 Lage Rooijen citizen wind farm will be operational from the end of 2023. Source: Windparklagerooijen.nl

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