GDF Suez appeals ruling to take down wind turbines near castle

PARIS Thu Oct 3, 2013 2:55pm BST

The logo of French group GDF Suez is seen on a building in the financial district of La Defense, near Paris August 1, 2013. REUTERS/Benoit Tessier

The logo of French group GDF Suez is seen on a building in the financial district of La Defense, near Paris August 1, 2013.

Credit: Reuters/Benoit Tessier

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PARIS (Reuters) - GDF Suez has appealed a provisional court order to remove 10 onshore wind turbines after a couple who own a nearby castle sued for noise and light pollution, paving the way for lawsuits which may hamper France's efforts to promote renewable energy.

The company had all the permits needed to put up the turbines and had received no complaints during the application period, a GDF Suez spokesman said on Thursday.

The turbines supply electricity to half of the 40,000 people in the nearby city of Arras, northeastern France, he said.

While GDF Suez had respected the rules, the turbines have multi-colored flickering lights and make constant whistling noises, Philippe Bodereau, the couple's lawyer, told Reuters.

He said the court may not make a final ruling for two years.

The couple had planned to turn the 17th century Chateau de Flers into a luxury hotel, according to the ruling.

Bodereau said that since the court ruling on September 17 many people living near wind turbines all over France had been in touch with queries.

"It's not castle owners but citizens like any others who are bothered (by wind turbines) and they carried out a lawsuit like any ordinary citizen would do," he said.

Onshore wind power made up 2.7 percent of France's overall electricity output last year.

(Reporting by Muriel Boselli; Editing by Louise Ireland)

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