A couple of residents of a wind farm obtains compensation from the courts for deterioration of their state of health

It is an unprecedented court decision, dating from a few weeks, which the opponents of wind turbine installations welcome on Monday, November 8. A couple of Belgians living near a wind farm in the village of Fontrieu (Tarn) won their case in a complaint filed against the operating companies.

The Toulouse Court of Appeal recognized in July a “Abnormal neighborhood disturbance” caused by the proximity of a wind farm and had condemned the operators of this park to pay more than 100,000 euros to this couple.

Christel and Luc Fockaert demanded compensation of some 350,000 euros from the park operators, attributing their health problems – feeling of oppression, dizziness, headaches – to the presence of six wind turbines located near their home, the closest to 700 meters, a distance in accordance with regulations. Having left their home in 2015, they also invoked the loss of enjoyment of their home and the fall in its value.

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Headaches and dizziness

M. and Mme Fockaert, who did not dispute the location of the wind turbines, claim that they then began to suffer from headaches and dizziness, their state of health having worsened after the cutting, in 2013, of a wood that was a screen between their house and the park.

This decision of the Toulouse Court of Appeal thus recognizes the reality of the existence of a wind syndrome, leading to a deterioration in the state of health. In May 2017, the National Academy of Medicine published a report on the health pollution from onshore wind turbines, studied by the National Academy of Medicine and ANSES, the National Agency in charge of food safety, the environment and work, as noted by Dauphiné released.

Aeolian syndrome is defined as “A set of very diverse symptoms related to the nuisance of wind turbines”. The National Academy of Medicine also notes that these symptoms “Concern only part of the residents, which raises the problem of individual susceptibilities”.

Interviewed by France 3 Occitanie on November 6, the couple shared their ” relief ” in view of this victory obtained at the end of a long fight. “It’s quite new”, as for her underlined their lawyer Alice Terrasse, estimating that to her knowledge there was “No precedent”. Before qualifying: “But beware, this is not duplicable. This park generates an abnormal nuisance in its configuration, but each case is specific and must be the subject of an examination. “

According to associations Sustainable Environment Federation (FED) and European Platform against Industrial Wind (EPAW), this judgment of the Toulouse Court of Appeal could trigger a “Multitude of lawsuits and claims for compensation” in France where, “Under pressure from the wind power industry, the protection distance is still 500 meters”.

They call on the governments of countries that are installing wind turbines to take action “To protect local residents, in particular by defining sufficient safety zones around homes” and “Recommend a distance of ten times the height at the end of the blades, ie 1,500 meters for a wind turbine 150 meters high”.

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The World with AFP

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A couple of residents of a wind farm obtains compensation from the courts for deterioration of their state of health