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Translation: A building permit for wind turbines may be refused due to their co-visibility with historical monuments

  • Sep 28, 2022

MIL OSI Translation. Government of the Republic of France statements from French to English –

Source: Republic of France in FrenchThe French Republic issued the following statement:

Credits: © Georges Gobet/AFP

The criterion of co-visibility with historical monuments can be the basis for the refusal to issue a building permit for wind turbines on the territory of a municipality, including when the location of this project is outside the perimeter of their protection. This is what the Council of State considered in its judgment of September 22, 2022.

A prefect refuses to issue a company the authorization to operate a park of five wind turbines on the territory of a municipality. The company then requested the annulment of this decision before the administrative court. The latter rejected his request, considering that the reason that these wind turbines would be visible from a protected site could have validly justified the refusal to issue the corresponding building permit. The company is appealing this decision.

The Administrative Court of Appeal annuls the judgment of the administrative court, considering that the criterion of covisibility with historical monuments could not be usefully invoked to refuse the requested authorization, because of the location of the project. Indeed, according to it, this criterion could not characterize an infringement contrary to thearticle R111-27 of the town planning code, since the wind turbines would be located outside the perimeter of protection of historical monuments.

The Minister for Ecological Transition is requesting the annulment of this decision before the Council of State.

The Council of State annuls the judgment of the Administrative Court of Appeal, specifying how to identify whether constructions may affect the character or interest of neighboring places, sites, natural or urban landscapes or even the conservation of the monumental perspectives, and thus found the refusal of a building permit. Indeed, it indicates that it is up to the competent administrative authority to assess the quality of the site concerned by the construction project, then to assess the impact that this construction, taking into account its nature and its effects, could have on the site, taking into account, under the supervision of the judge, all the relevant elements and in particular, where applicable, the co-visibility of the project with remarkable buildings, regardless of the protection they otherwise enjoy under other legislation.

Thus, according to the Council of State, to justify the refusal to issue a building permit, the criterion of co-visibility with historic monuments can be assessed independently of their perimeter of protection.

EDITOR'S NOTE: This article is a translation. Apologies should the grammar and/or sentence structure not be perfect.

MIL Translation OSI


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