Municipalities present draft Preferred Alternative for wind energy project Duurzame Polder

The Dutch municipalities of Oss and ‘s-Hertogenbosch have presented the draft Preferred Alternative for the Duurzame Polder project. The preference is for a compact wind farm around the municipal border north and south of the Hertogswetering waterway.

In 2018, the Duurzame Polder, was already identified as a suitable location for wind energy. Together with the surrounding area, opportunities, values and limitations of the area between Rosmalen and Oss have since been examined. Stakeholders and local residents have submitted their ideas, wishes and concerns for the project at several times and in several ways. Partly on this basis, the municipal councils of ‘s-Hertogenbosch and Oss decided in 2020 and 2021 that the Duurzame Polder area is suitable for large-scale wind energy generation.

In 2022, design research started in a participatory process. This led to a number of schools of thought and variants that were examined for their environmental impact. The results of the various studies, such as the QuickScan Environment and the Plan EIA, together with input from the surrounding area during the participatory process and the design study, led to the best-fit plan for wind turbines in the polder.

Compact wind farm

The draft Preferred Alternative designates the area in the polder within which wind turbines can be placed. The preference is for a compact wind farm around the municipal boundary to the north and south of the Hertogswetering, which flows through the polder. For the municipality of ‘s-Hertogenbosch, this meets the specified frameworks for energy generation and a maximum of 16 wind turbines, at a distance of 1 kilometre from town and village centres and a low noise level in residential areas. For Oss, the requested generation can be achieved with a maximum of 9 wind turbines, at a distance of 2 kilometres and low noise levels in residential areas.

The best-fit plan for wind turbines takes into account the natural values in the area as much as possible. It was decided to keep the north-western part of the area with valuable nature largely free. Further research is needed for both nature and the defence low-flying area.

Follow-up steps

In the coming period, local residents and interest groups can leave a reaction to the draft Preferred Alternative. This can be done through online consultation, two walk-in meetings or the in-depth workshop for interest groups. The municipal councils will discuss the draft Preferred Alternative including the bundled input from the participation process in March 2024. With the results of the council meetings, the best-fit plan for wind turbines is further refined.

This plan will then be included in a programme, which will be submitted for public consultation before the summer. Anyone can submit views on this. In October 2024, the municipal councils will take a final decision on the plan to equip the polder with wind turbines. After that, it will be up to initiators to come up with a concrete plan and submit a permit application. Source: Duurzame Polder

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