Morbihan: a wind farm declared illegal is about to be dismantled

DECISION – The prefect of Morbihan has ordered the dismantling of the three wind turbines in the Guern park, declared illegal by the courts but still in operation.

The epilogue seems could not be closer for the case of the wind turbines of the Guern park, in Morbihan, brought to justice sixteen years ago. “Following the recent decision of the Council of State rejecting the summary appeal, the prefect decided, on January 6, 2022, to sign an order for the removal of the park (equivalent to dismantling)”, indicated the prefecture by email on Monday.

“A great satisfaction for the local residents”

“It is a great satisfaction for local residents to see that court decisions are finally respected”, welcomed their lawyer, Me Sébastien Collet, to AFP. The location of the Guern wind farm, commissioned in 2008 by the company SNC Parc éolien de Guern after a building permit was issued in 2005 “was contested from the start by local residents because of its proximity to homes (380 and 450 meters) and its impact on the natural environment”, he specifies.

“As the duration of a wind farm is 15 to 20 years, the multiplication of procedures has made it possible to operate the farm for ten years and to make a profit to the detriment of local residents”, he however regretted.

Decision on the merits in 2022

In detail, the residents had obtained in 2009 in court the cancellation of the building permit, decision confirmed in cassation in 2012 “for reasons of public safety because of a risk of projection of two blades on two dwellings”, specifies the prefecture. In 2013, the prefect had refused the operator’s request for regularization, the new rules for the location of wind turbines imposing a minimum distance of 500 meters from homes.

“It was only in December 2019 (…) that the Council of State confirmed the illegality of the administrative situation of the Guern wind farm”, continues the prefecture. In April 2020, the prefect then gave notice to the operator to regularize his situation, which implied a cessation of activity or the purchase of the houses located within the perimeter of 500 meters.

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The operator, which contested the decree and continued its activity, was given a penalty payment of 1,000 euros per day of delay in May 2021. On December 30, 2021, the Council of State finally did not consider admissible its summary appeal. If a decision on the merits concerning the challenge of the administrative sanctions is expected in 2022, the prefecture considers that “the litigation concerning the operation of the park (…) has been exhausted since the end of 2019 and has concluded that it is irregular”.

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