Court hear­ing of the Coun­cil of State on the con­sequences of the “Nevele” judg­ment for Dutch wind farms

News

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.