On 25 June 2020, the city council of the municipality of Delfzijl (re)established the zoning plan for the Delfzijl Zuid wind farm extension. Subsequently, on 30 June 2020, the Board of the Provincial Executive of the Province of Groningen granted an environmental permit on the basis of the General Provisions on Environmental Law (Wabo) for the Delfzijl Zuid wind farm extension. All decisions (both the zoning plan and the environmental permit) have been announced jointly and will be available for inspection for six weeks from 23 July.

Miller’s homes do not meet the standard

Immediately south of the existing Delfzijl Zuid wind farm is an area that the province of Groningen has designated for wind energy in the Environmental Vision. The plan is to install 16 wind turbines in the Delfzijl Zuid wind farm extension, with a maximum hub height of 136 metres and a maximum tip height of 204 metres. The zoning plan that was previously drawn up for this wind farm was annulled in 2018, along with the environmental permit, by the Administrative Jurisdiction Division of the Council of State. This zoning plan had a large number of supposed ‘houses in thestyleof the wind turbine park’, or ‘miller’s houses’. The Department concluded that it was not established that there are technical, organisational or functional tiesbetween all these homes and the wind farm or that they can be included in the layout (the wind farm). Subsequently, the Department established that the standards for noise and shadow flicker could not be met at the homes designated as miller’s homes. The zoning plan was subsequently annulled because the plan had been prepared in violation of the necessary care and was not based on sound reasonsfor the miller’s houses. Otherwise, the Department has not made a negative assessment of the plan.

Zoning plan amendment

The 2018 plan was subsequently fixed and has now been redefined. The positions and dimensions of the wind turbines have not changed. A further and partly amended assessment has been made with regard to the miller’s homes, including the renovation of a number of homes in the plan area. The plan for the wind turbines themselves has remained unchanged, which was also a condition of the Delfzijl city council for renewed cooperation.

Pondera’s role

Pondera supported the initiators, united in the Delfzijl South Wind Farm Extension, with both the 2018 plan and the 2020 plan. Pondera drew up the EIA, prepared and drew up the required permit applications and drew up the zoning plan. In addition, Pondera conducted substantive research in the field of noise, shadow flicker and external safety and has also supervised other external investigations. Pondera also advised the initiators and the municipality on substantive and legal matters (in close collaboration with ENVIR lawyers) in the manner of repair and the new procedure of Delfzijl Zuid wind farm extension.