Amazing win for BUND / Friends of the Earth Germany
A court in Münster, Germany, has ruled that the building permission for the controversial recently-opened Datteln 4 hard coal power station in western Germany is invalid!
Just days after catastrophic floods hit Germany, the judge upheld a legal complaint made by local Friends of the Earth group, BUND North Rhine-Westphalia. BUND expects the plant will soon lose its license to operate.
A controversial coal power plant
Together with residents, BUND has been fighting against Datteln 4 for more than ten years, twice initiating a lawsuit against the building permission. The plant has long been the site of environmental protests. It was approved by the City Council of Datteln on May 14, 2014, after a first development plan was declared ineffective by the same higher administrative court (OVG) in 2009.
This recent judgment now makes it clear that the power plant should never have been built the way it has been.
BUND chairman Olaf Bandt explains:
“The judgment is a great success for BUND/Friends of the Earth Germany. It clearly corrects bad political decisions. […] It was already clear twelve years ago that the location in the immediate vicinity of residential developments was unsuitable. But instead of accepting the decision of the Court at the time, a new development plan was passed without changing anything at the problematic location.”
What comes next
The judgement only affects one of the two legal foundations upon which Datteln is allowed to operate. Uniper, the plant operator, still has its approval under Germany’s emission control law.
BUND chairman Olaf Bandt continues
“As soon as the court’s annulment of the development plan is legally binding, the operator Uniper’s emission permit must be withdrawn and the power plant decommissioned and dismantled.”
BUND has also filed a lawsuit against this license, so the case will soon return to court and could see the power plant shut down.
The fight goes on! To be continued.