Opposition against new wind turbines by Flanders-Wallonia border grows

Opposition against new wind turbines by Flanders-Wallonia border grows
Photo by Marcel Strauß on Unsplash.

Six proposed wind turbines in the Walloon town of Dalhem, a few metres from the Flemish border, are being met with opposition from people who say the turbines will disturb the beautiful landscape there.

The Flemish Minister for the Environment Zuhal Demir and Flemish Minister for Immovable Heritage Matthias Diependaele are the latest to join the opposition against the wind turbines.

“The project will cause a fundamental disturbance of the beautiful landscape in the Voerstreek, and the impact on various bird species and the noise and shadow pollution are disastrous for Flanders,” the ministers said in a statement.

Demir has already communicated her opposition to her Walloon colleagues and announced that she and her colleague Matthias Diependaele will also submit a formal objection on behalf of the Flemish government.

Engie Electrabel submitted an application for the construction of five wind turbines on the same site last year.

Flanders was not informed in advance, which the ministers weren't happy about.

“On the advice of the competent authority, the procedure was interrupted and the company chose to submit amendment plans,” they explained in their statement.

“Together with the company Vortex Energy Belgium, an additional wind turbine was added, so that the project now comprises six wind turbines. The installation and size of the five wind turbines previously planned by Engie Electrabel have not been changed.”

Diependaele’s opposition stems from what he says would be a disruption of the heritage landscape and agricultural views of the Voer region, which he says are protected from large-scale infrastructure.

“Negative effects are not only expected for various protected bird species in view of the nearby special protection zones, but also for local residents due to the noise and the cast shadow,” Demir and Diependaele said.

Voeren's mayor Joris Gaens also emphasised that the municipality of Voeren is not in favor of the construction of wind turbines on this site.

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