The Belgian government does not accept the plans of its French colleagues to build a wind farm in the sea near Dunkirk, near the Belgian border. This is what the Minister of the North Sea, Vincent Van Quickenborn (Open Vld) said. “We continue to insist on further consultations,” he says, but legal procedures are also not forthcoming.
The French government wants to establish a wind farm ten kilometers off the coast of Dunkirk, near the Belgian border. This park will span an area of 55 square kilometers and contain a maximum of 46 wind turbines, which together generate 600 megawatts of electricity. However, the park’s location is a problem, according to Belgium. For example, there is a problem with the historical shipping routes between Ostend and the United Kingdom.
So Belgium suggested an alternative location to the north. North Sea Minister Vincent van Quickenborn sent officials to Paris at the end of last month to consult with the French government. At the end of last year, there was a public consultation on the project at the initiative of the Minister, during which the residents of the coast and the port of Ostend, among others, could communicate their concerns to the project developers.
However, today they indicated that they will continue with the plans. The Belgian government was informed of this by the French government at the end of last week.
Van Quickenborn’s government said the government “takes note of this decision” and “will carefully study its contents in consultation with the appointed law firm.” Current plans do not sufficiently take Belgian concerns into account. We welcome investments in offshore wind turbines, but the proposed site poses a problem.
The Belgian government has two months to appeal against the decision, but it is also fully committed to dialogue to find a solution, says Van Quickenborn. “We continue to insist on further consultations. For me, dialogue is still the best and fastest way to reach a solution that is legally acceptable and safe for all parties involved.”
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