A Toronto lawyer representing clients in areas where wind turbine projects have been approved is elated by this week’s court decision.
A ruling by the Ontario Superior Court of Justice has specifically recognized that claims against wind companies and against landowners who agree to host wind turbines are possible as soon as projects receive approval.
“There are many people who have been waiting to see how the courts would respond to these types of claims,” said Eric Gillespie.
He called it a major step forward for people with concerns about industrial wind projects across the province.
Gillespie told The Chatham Daily News Thursday the court decision will significantly advance the claims filed in Chatham-Kent.
He said it now seems clear that as soon as a project is approved residents can start a claim.
“Dozens of plaintiffs who have already started actions appear to have had the right to bring claims validated,” he said. “We can definitely expect more claims now that this door has been opened.”
Several Dover Township residents have brought a $9 million legal claim against International Power Canada Inc. and East Lake St. Clair Wind Inc., the wind companies that constructed turbines in Dover and the landowners who have leased their land to allow the turbines to be built.
The industrial wind facility, which is still not operational, consists of 55 industrial wind turbines, many of which are in close proximity to the plaintiffs’ properties.
The claim is based on a substantial reduction in property value caused by, among other causes, non-natural use of neighbouring properties as well as visual and acoustic trespass.
The legal action is similar to other claims already launched in LaSalle, Prince Edward County and the Clearville/Creemore/Stayner area.
The federal government has initiated a study on health hazards associated with industrial wind turbines and area MPPs and MPs have called for a moratorium on new turbine construction until the results of the health study are tabled in two years.
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