The Dutch state paid €3.2m in grants to the owner of an illegally-placed wind turbine in Noord-Holland province, the Volkskrant reports on Wednesday.
Files obtained by locals using freedom of information legislation show the government has refused to claw back the subsidies even though the owner broke planning regulations.
The owner installed a more powerful turbine than mentioned in the licence and placed it at a different location, the paper says. The government went on to subsidise it for eight years, even though the local council of Schagen was aware the turbine was wrongly placed.
A spokesman for the government service which provides the subsidies says the owner is subsidised for the provision of electricity and this is unconnected to the licence.
The Volkskrant says the dispute surrounding the turbine in Sint-Maartensbrug is indicative of the problems surrounding wind farms. While supporters emphasise the importance of sustainable energy sources, locals protest about the noise and the visual pollution.
However, it now appears owners always get subsidies, whether or not the turbine has been placed there legally, the paper points out.
At the beginning of this year, the Council of State administrative court ordered the turbine to be demolished. The owner now plans to erect a new turbine in its place.
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