NORWICH TOWNSHIP – The group against the Gunn’s Hill wind turbine project want potential investors to know if the wind farm goes forward legal action will be taken.
The East Oxford Community Alliance’s lawyer Eric Gillespie issued a press release Tuesday stating a draft $28-million legal claim was forwarded to Prowind Canada Inc., Gunn’s Hill Windfarm Inc. and landowners that are leasing land to the developer.
“The $28 million figure reflects the losses that could potentially be incurred by residents so it is a calculated amount based on the value of their properties and what they could lose,” Eric Gillespie, a Toronto-based environmental lawyer said.
Gillespie is working on multiple cases involving wind turbine farms across Ontario.
He recently filed a similar lawsuit for neighbours located near the site of a proposed wind turbine in the Creemore area. That lawsuit was dismissed by the court without prejudice because the project had not yet received the final approval from the Ministry of the Environment.
Gillespie said if Prowind receives a Renewable Energy Approval (REA) from the MOE the suit will be filed.
“We advised the defendants (Prowind) of the advance claim coming and offered them an opportunity to discuss things but we haven’t heard from them yet,” Gillespie said.
Joan Morris, East Oxford Community Alliance member said the group has worked with Gillespie’s office for about the last four years. The group hoped legal action wouldn’t be necessary to stop the project.
“Norwich Township has declared itself an unwilling host. Over the last five years we have made our views known. We feel this is the only way at this point that we may be able to protect our homes, agricultural businesses, livestock and our family’s health.”
Juan Anderson, Prowind project manager overseeing the 25-megawatt wind turbine said the company received the advance claim and is currently reviewing it.
“Unfortunately there is not a whole lot I can say publically around these kinds of things,” he said. “There has been a case similar a claim in April that has been dismissed. I see this as being very similar.”
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