Aidu wind farm permits are valid, Supreme Court rules ({{contentCtrl.commentsTotal}})

Wind turbine at Aidu Wind Park in Ida-Viru county.
Wind turbine at Aidu Wind Park in Ida-Viru county. Source: Sergei Stepanov/ERR

Construction permits issued to Aidu Wind Park in Ida-Viru County are valid, the Supreme Court ruled on Tuesday, dismissing the case brought by the Ministry of Justice in 2017.

In April 2017, the governor of Ida-Viru County submitted a protest to the Tartu Administrative Court in which the governor asked for the permits issued by the rural municipality government of Lüganuse allowing for Aidu Tuulepark OÜ to construct a wind farm in the area to be annulled. The Supreme Court upheld a ruling by the Tartu Administrative Court after a protest against the decision, which came two years after the permits had been issued, was submitted with a notable delay, the Supreme Court said.

According to the county governor's protest, the structures of the Aidu wind farm are in contradiction with the thematic plan and the preliminary design endorsed by the Ministry of Defense. The ministry says they are not consistent with the building permits issued by the municipality and that the turbines are significantly higher than agreed. 

The administrative court on April 29 decided to leave the protest unreviewed. The Ministry of Justice contested the first instance court's ruling which the Tartu Circuit Court dismissed on June 26.

The administrative court said in its ruling of April 29 that the governor of Ida-Viru County significantly exceeded the 30-day time limit for submitting a protest with regard to the issuance of the construction permits. According to a ruling by the Supreme Court made in the same case on Jan. 17, the time limit does not start with the county governor becoming aware of the unlawfulness of the administrative act.

According to the administrative court, the county governor must have been aware of the issuance of construction permits as well as their content as early as in the summer of 2016.

If the Supreme Court does not grant leave to appeal, the ruling made by the Tartu Administrative Court on April 29, then the permits issued by the Lüganuse rural municipality government to Aidu Tuulepark OÜ are valid, will enter into force.

The Tallinn Administrative Court is also handling a case in which Aidu wind farm developer Eleon Green, owned by brothers Oleg and Andres Sonajalg, and the Estonian Consumer Protection and Technical Regulatory Authority are engaged in a dispute over the legality of the construction of the wind farm.

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Editor: Helen Wright

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