Building permit to be reviewed for the Montagne de Buttes wind farm

Building permit to be reviewed for the Montagne de Buttes wind farm
Building permit to be reviewed for the Montagne de Buttes wind farm

The Neuchâtel cantonal court annuls the building permits for the Montagne de Buttes wind farm as well as the decision of the Council of State which validated them. “The wind project is thus slowed down, but not stopped,” declared Monday the association “Les Travers du Vent” which had appealed.

The model of wind turbines must be provided for in the building permit, considers the Neuchâtel Cantonal Court in a judgment rendered on June 18. “Unless the developer appeals to the Federal Court, this aspect of the wind farm procedure returns to square one,” noted the association for the protection of the Val-de-Travers sites.

The appellants had argued that building permits could not be issued because the type of wind turbine had not been determined. They believe that the choice of model must be made at the time of building authorization. “This argument is well founded,” the court wrote in its judgment.

The building permits granted by the municipalities of Verrières, Val-de-Travers and La Côte-aux-Fées are therefore canceled by this authority. If an appeal is not filed or if it is rejected, the file will return to the municipalities so that they can restart the procedure.

“I am satisfied that the Court of Public Law clearly indicates what we have always maintained, namely that the model of wind turbines must be provided for in the building permit,” underlines Thierry Ray, president of the association. Les Travers du Vent”, quoted in the press release. A satisfaction shared by the president of the “Paysage Libre BEJUNE” association, Michel Fior. Both men believe that the type of machine and its dimensions have a direct impact on noise and shadow casting.

The Montagne de Buttes project is carried out by the operating company “Verrivent” which is owned equally by Groupe E Greenwatt and by Services Industriels de Genève (SIG). When contacted, the Friborg energy company told us that it was surprised by the decision of the Cantonal Court. Groupe E explains that it is still in the analysis phase and is weighing up its interests before deciding whether an appeal will be filed.

Note also that the TF validated the allocation plan last year as part of another procedure. /ATS-rgi


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