The Flemish Government has established a preferred route for the much-discussed Ventilus high-voltage line: it will go largely above ground, but some 10 kilometres will be put underground.
The government still had to choose between five routes for the Ventilus high-voltage line, which is to bring the electricity from the new offshore wind farms to land. On Friday, a decision was made.
"No one likes this decision, but leaving people in uncertainty for longer was not an option for me," said Flemish Energy Minister Zuhal Demir. "In the meantime, we have studied long enough, the file must now move on. We request an extensive compensation scheme from the Federal Government for the owners involved. Support is also provided for affected companies."
Like the four others, the chosen route is largely above ground. At the height of the municipalities of Zedelgem, Torhout and Izegem, however, the line will go a little underground to limit the nuisance for local residents as much as possible.
Some 80 families are located near the new high-voltage line and another 110 are close to existing lines that are being upgraded. The route is now under public scrutiny. According to the mayors involved, a final decision will not be made until the next legislature.