In Quebec, a second group of citizens wants to bring a class action against wind developers. They complain of noise and dust, and fear that their homes will lose value.
The residents of Saint-Jean-de-Brébeuf in Chaudière-Appalaches, trying to get court permission to institute a class action against the wind developer Invenergy and even against Hydro-Québec, which retained it in inhabited areas project . Peter Labranche involved in the class action. The Des Moulins wind park are located less than a kilometer from his house, to his chagrin.
"They have taken away our peace, destroys landscapes, especially in winter. My house vibrates. It makes no sense. "- Peter Labranche, resident of Saint-Jean-de-Brébeuf
At twenty kilometers away, residents of St. Ferdinand had, in October 2014, the permission of the Superior Court of Quebec to bring the first class action against the province for wind developers.Nearly 500 residents, neighbors of the park, could enroll in this appeal against Aeolian maple. In the heart of the argument, the principle of neighborhood disturbances. Under the Civil Code, the neighbors must tolerate normal neighborhood disturbances. This implies that there is also abnormal disorders neighborhood.
This notion of neighborhood disturbances was at the heart of the case of St. Lawrence Cement. In 2008 the Supreme Court of Canada ordered the Beauport cement plant to compensate his neighbors for the noise and dust that has accumulated in their homes. The judgment of the highest court of the country stated that even without fault of their own, a company that causes abnormal annoyances is responsible.
This case law will be invoked by the lawyers of neighboring wind farms. The complainants state that being close to a wind farm is endure the noise and dust during construction. They argue that the presence of wind turbines devalues property prices. As Yvon Bourque of St. Ferdinand, who believes that nobody will buy her house now that 22 wind turbines are around.
But all this remains unproven. It is the merit that such practices causes: force the industry and scientists to study more accurately the impact of wind turbines on the lives of their neighbors.
In the region of Quebec, a judge just refused to another group a class action for damages for nuisance against the promoters of wind farms of Seigneurie de Beaupré. The magistrate believes that the group covered by the remedy was too broad. The applicants are preparing to appeal this decision.
In France, wind turbines destroy?
In October 2013, in the Nord-Pas-de-Calais, France, Flers castle owners have been successful against a wind developer. A judge ordered the company to destroy wind windmills that spoil the view of the castle. The case is on appeal, but it is a harbinger of an almost inevitable effect of the construction of wind parks in inhabited areas: actions for justice on the part of those who suffer the effects of wind presence without deriving of profit. Causes are currently before the French courts, the US and now here.