Council of State revokes planning permission for 7 wind turbines, 5 of which have already been built

The Council of State has revoked the planning permission that had been granted for the construction of 7 wind turbines on the Maatheide, an area of heathland at Lommel in Limburg Province. The Council of State’s ruling came after a complaint against the construction of the turbines at the site that was lodged by the Society for the Protection of Birds. The power company EDF Luminus has already built 5 of the 7 turbines that were planned for the Maatheide site. 

Jan Rodts of the Society for the Protection of Birds told the VRT that “Maatheide is an area where a large number of migrating birds pass. These range from ducks to birds of prey and cranes. Hundreds of thousand of migrating birds pass through every spring and autumn. It is irresponsible to build this kind of constructions at places like this. You know that there will be victims if you do”.

Despite, protest from the Society for the Protection of Birds, EDF Luminus was granted planning permission to build the turbines at the site. The then Flemish Environment Joke Schauveliege (Christian democrat) and the provincial authorities in Limburg had no objections to the wind turbines being built. The Society for the Protection of Birds took their objections to the Council of State. However, EDF Luminus didn’t wait for the Council of State’s ruling and in the meantime 5 of the 7 wind turbines that were planned for the Maatheide site have already been built. It is still unclear as to what happens next.  

Mr Rodts told the VRT that "In any case we want the turbines to be stopped straight away and we also want them to be moved. As a nature organisation we an advocate of green energy, but this should be at a cost to the natural environment”. 

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