On 6 April 2021 the Administrative Jurisdiction Division of the Dutch Council of State held a court hearing in four wind turbine cases regarding the consequences of the judgment of the Court of Justice of the EU of 25 June 2020. In this so-called “Nevele” judgment, the Court of Justice ordered the Flemish government to conduct an extensive environmental impact assessment into the general environmental standards that apply to wind turbines and wind farms.
In the four Dutch wind turbine cases, plaintiffs have argued before the Administrative Jurisdiction Division of the Council of State that the decisions in their (Dutch) cases cannot be upheld as a result of the “Nevele” judgment. During the court hearing on 6 April, the central question was whether the “Nevele” judgment implies that certain parts of the Dutch Activities Decree and the Activities Regulation concerning wind turbines should have been preceded by an extensive environmental impact assessment (a video recording of the hearing is available here, in Dutch).
The Administrative Jurisdiction Division of the Council of State may decide to submit preliminary questions regarding the Dutch situation to the Court of Justice of the EU. The decision of the Council of state is expected early summer. Sander Simonetti and Pieter Leopold of HVG Law published an annotation to the “Nevele” judgment in the Netherlands Energy Law Journal (Nederlands Tijdschrift voor Energierecht (NTE)), in which the potential implications of the judgment are set out.