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The Nature & Birdwatch Society of the island of Schouwen-Duiveland has resorted to the law to fight a project of four wind turbines on the island. Not only has the society used its citizens' right to appeal in court against the project receiving a municipal building permit, it has also successfully demanded a suspension of all installation activity at the site, saying it fears a massacre of birds in the area. But according to John Springer of the non profit wind development foundation, Zeeuwind Co-operation, leading ornithologists say -- albeit behind the scenes -- that avian mortality would be minimal. Furthermore, environmental clearance has been granted the project by a higher instance than the local court and there is every likelihood -- despite the bird society's application -- that the project will go ahead. The first planning application was turned down on a technicality, but both Zeeuwind and the local council of Schouwen Duivenland were confident enough of a successful outcome of the second application to start site work. This has been stopped by the bird society's court action. "Suspending building activities means that half a million guilders worth of towers and blades are lying there. Together with claims from the contractor that means an enormous financial loss for us," says Springer.

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