Environment Minister rejects planning application for wind turbines alongside the E40

The Flemish Energy Minister Zuhal Demir (nationalist) has rejected an application for permission to build 16 wind turbines alongside the E40 motorway in Flemish Brabant. The turbines would have been built next to a stretch of the motorway between Bierbeek and Hoegaarden in the east of the province. However the municipal authorities in Tienen, Hoegaarden, Bierbeek and Boutersem in whose areas the wind turbines were to have been built had all advised against granting planning permission. 

The municipal authorities feared that the turbines would create a nuisance for those living in the area around them. Furthermore the proposed 150 meter-long wicks on the turbines would cast drop shadows over a wide area. Ms Demir heeded the local authorities’ concerns. Furthermore, possible issues with noise nuisance had not been sufficiently looked into and this was the main reason the Energy Minister said that she had decided to reject the application to build the wind turbines.   

Ms Demir’s party colleague, the Flemish MP Allessia Claes told VRT News that "When the planning application was considered it was noticed that the potential noise nuisance that would be caused by the final project involving the construction of 16 wind turbines had not been thoroughly examined. With the application already having been modified the Minister was unable to be certain that the wind turbine project would not have a considerable impact on the environment”.    

The company that wished to build the wind turbines can appeal against the Minister’s decision or alternative table a new, revised planning application. 

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