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A detailed answer to your questions would require another diary - but the summary is that it deals with complex legalistic issues, some of which still in the pipeline and which I have tracked previously on other issues. There's a large new law in development in The Hague that specifically deals with the use of public space and building developments, and zoning laws form part and parcel of this.

To wind back a bit, the final Balkenende government already introduced new regulation to overrule legal challenges on the local and municipality level when it concerns building developments, with the result that developers can ride more easily across local concerns.

These regulations are now integrated, and extended, in the new law still under wraps.

Let me put it this way: I'm seriously concerned how the upcoming legal framework will deal with the checks and balances to address new developments in the public space - and note, that's not just wind mills. This goes for the authorities at all levels - municipalities, provinces, water boards and national.

Yet specifically for wind projects, even currently the state and provinces already are able to overrule local challenges when it concerns wind park projects that have a capacity larger than 5 MW. For wind parks larger than 100 MW even provinces are left legally toothless. Last year, the government more or less appointed 11 locations for large wind parks, which have now resulted in officially lodged protests from citizens, companies and a multitude of local authorities. In case someone enjoys that sort of thing, they can be located at this site.

In an aside, the Central Planning Bureau, which forms the government's principal guiding bureau, has recently cautioned to halt building wind on land for at least the next 5 years due to present overcapacity.

While most agencies stress that local inclusion and participation form the best pathway to reduce local resistance and engender understanding to wind - the standing framework applies a top-down approach fitted to antagonize and ignore the local level, both citizens and local authorities. This does not mean that municipalities are without suspicion - altering zoning laws for development is a primary milking cow for municipalities and plenty of them are in debt due to the economic slump.

The phrasing plied in the energy accord does nothing to assuage the concerns and suspicions I have with respect to the current regulations or the newly developed law on public space.

That's all I can currently write for the moment, will be offline for some time.

by Bjinse on Sat Aug 31st, 2013 at 06:42:08 AM EST
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