Opponents of Nursipalu training ground expansion to take issue to court

Approach to the Nursipalu training area.
Approach to the Nursipalu training area. Source: Mirjam Mõttus/ERR

Opponents of a planned expansion to an Estonian Defense Forces (EDF) military training area in South Estonia say they will take the matter to court.

The training area at Nursipalu, Võru County, is already in EDF use but will be more than tripled in size from its current dimensions of around 3,000ha under state plans to bring it up to scratch given the current security situation.

Maarika Niidumaa, spokesperson for non-profit organization Meie Nursipalu, representing opponents of the development, including those with properties in or near the earmarked zone, told ETV news show "Aktuaalne kaamera" (AK) that: "We are planning to go to court, we have a lot of case material. We intend to protect public rights, to stand for the Nursipalu training ground to not be expanded along the lines of the current plans."

Niidumaa added that one of the main points in the planned legal action is that homes within the planned expansion zone remain intact, adding that the organization does not find a Ministry of Defense pledge to pay above-market value for the properties, 21 of them, to be compulsorily purchased, to be overly compelling.

"I would inquire as to what actions the Ministry of Defense has carried out so far that would prompt people to trust in this promise, as in practice it can be seen that such processes have lasted for seven or eight years, while there have been no positive experiences, and there is no corresponding legislation," Niidumaa told AK.

Nursipalu training ground. Source: ERR/ Datawrapper


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Editor: Andrew Whyte, Merili Nael

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