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Marju’s appeal on wind turbine project rejected

MARIGOT–The company Marju SAS recently had its February 2012 appeal to install three wind turbines on the summit of Red Rock in Anse Marcel rejected by the administrative court in Bordeaux in the latest, and possibly the last, instalment of a seven- year legal battle waged by residents in the area to stop the project.

Residents’ movement against the proposed project led by artist Antoine Chapon, veterinarian Eric Poulin and architect Philippe Leger filed an injunction in January 2007 to block the project after the Préfet of Guadeloupe issued a building permit for the turbines in July 2006.

Three 91-metre high wind turbines of 800kw each were proposed for Red Rock, together with access road and housing infrastructure to dismantle turbines in case of hurricanes.

The residents scored a first victory with the cancellation of the “arrêté préfectoral” by the administrative court in October 2011, but Marju subsequently filed an appeal with the administrative court in Bordeaux in February 2012. The project was examined again by the court in May this year before it finally decided to reject Marju’s appeal at the end of June.

Marju still has a last resort option to appeal to the “Cour de Cassation,” a final court of appeal that reviews miscarriages of justice or questions of law, but Antoine Chapon believes this is unlikely and questioned whether the company would want to prolong already seven years of legal wrangling.

Chapon, who said he was relieved by the court’s decision, has all along described the project as an “environmental disaster,” a contradiction of the urbanism code, and the magnitude of it totally incompatible with a small territory where nature, flora and fauna should be preserved. Not only would the turbines have been installed at only 500 metres away from the nearest houses and school, the irritating sound of the continuously rotating blades would impact health, not to mention the potential danger caused by a blade breaking off from a turbine.

The court agreed with the arguments of the residents, noting the project’s proposals were incompatible for a residential and touristic area and not in keeping with the environmental aspects of the area. It further said the Préfet in granting the permit “failed to appreciate the consequences the project would have on Anse Marcel.”