Stibbe advises Zeewolde and Geefsweer wind farms

NL Law

​On 19 December 2018, the Administrative Jurisdiction Division of the Council of State ruled that the building of Zeewolde and Geefsweer wind farms could go ahead.​​

Zeewolde Wind Park is situated in the southern part of Flevoland where 91 new wind turbines are being built, including the renovation of a further 221 existing wind turbines. Owners of the existing wind turbines and surrounding plots, including housing developers, were opposed to the new wind farm, which will be built by Windpark Zeewolde B.V. The owners of the existing turbines wanted to be eligible to carry out (part of) the project. They believed that 'scarce public rights' had already been granted. Special rules apply to the allocation of such scarce rights, which ensure that a transparent procedure is followed. The owners argued that these rules had not been properly observed. ​

The Administrative Law Division did not accept this argument. The requirement that the project must be carried out by a single initiator was not included in the integration plan. In this case, the government had not granted scarce rights and therefore no special rules applied. The objections to the wind farm had also come from housing developers. They claimed that the integration plan was at odds with the government's ambition to build 15,000 homes in southern Flevoland (Oosterwold) in the coming years. The Administrative Jurisdiction Division stated that it is "primarily up to the ministers to make a choice in a case like this in which different administrative ambitions have been expressed for an area". See here for the press release and the decision.​

Geefsweer Wind Park consists of 14 wind turbines in the east of the province of Groningen. Objections were filed against this wind farm by local residents on the grounds of damage to their living environment. However, the court ruled that the wind farm complied with the applicable statutory rules and could proceed. See here for the ruling.​​