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Court bans wind farm at raptor roost

29.06.2005 Stuttgart/Wertheim - A court judgement ruled against the erection of wind turbines even outside bird protection areas when raptors are thereby threatened. The Stuttgart administrative court explained in its judgement that the risk of fatal collision is particularly high for raptor species. An appeal by wind power operators against the city of Wertheim (Main-Tauber-Kreis), who had refused planning permission for the erection of a wind farm in Hegwald, was dismissed.

Red and Black Kites deserve special protection, the judgement stated. They are specially threatened as they do not necessarily recognise wind turbines as a hazard. Although the erection of wind energy installations has a special priority under building law in this case the conservation requirements were of more importance.The judges referred to federal-wide records whereby the Red Kite population in particular showed a high number of so-called 'hit' victims. Bats were also regularly victims of the rotors. Following the discovery of many dead bats in the South Baden region local government has ordered a full report on the effects of wind turbines by the end of the year.

According to the environmental minister Tanja Gönner (CDU - conservative) the court judgement offers useful orientation. It provides the necessary legal security for future wind turbine planning in the province. In the southwest of Germany wind power accounts for 0,45 % of energy production. Wind power development is ripe for development in the approved priority areas of the province said Mrs Gönner.

4th July 2014