Paul Morden, Sarnia Observer
Wind turbine opponents in Lambton County are celebrating a silver lining they see in a court ruling that dismissed a claim against a wind project near Collingwood. The Ontario Superior Court of Justice this week dismissed a claim made by neighbouring property owners against the eight-turbine Fairview wind project WPD Canada is seeking provincial approval to build near the Clearview Township community of Stayner. The decision was based on the fact approval hasn’t been given yet.
But Eric Gillespie, a lawyer representing neighbours who brought the court action, says the ruling recognizes that claims against wind projects are possible as soon as projects receive approval. “There are many people who have been waiting to see how the courts would respond to these types of claims,” Gillespie said. “It now seems clear that as soon as a project is approved residents can start a claim.” Gillespie said that appears to be a major step forward for people concerned about industrial wind projects. “We can definitely expect more claims now that this door has been opened.”
Gillespie is currently also defending Plympton-Wyoming’s wind turbine bylaws against a legal challenge by the Suncor Energy, the company seeking provincial approval to build up to 62-turbines as part of its Cedar Point wind project in Lambton County. Wind opponents are also celebrating that the court accepted evidence indicating turbines could devalue neighbouring properties by 22% to 50% or more, and also impact the health of neighbours. Read article