Government launches anti-NIMBY action

In a decision which has delighted the Dutch wind community, Johan Remkes, secretary of state for housing, has proposed a thorough review of the conduct of Dutch conservation societies or "welstandscommissies." Societies such as Hus en Heim in Friesland have a reputation for environmental conservatism and an unwavering opposition to the construction of new wind projects. Hus en Heim, played a major role in derailing the province's regional wind plan, "Windstreek 2000," effectively preventing further wind plant construction in the area. Remkes now proposes that "welstandscommissies" must apply concrete criteria in their objection to planning proposals, their committee meetings must be open to the public, and committee members should have their terms of office limited to four years. At present says Remkes, "the manner in which such commissions work suggests back rooms, where a club of untouchables who are convinced of their own aesthetic superiority force their own resolutions upon others."

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