NEWS IN ENGLISH
THE CITY OF ANLEZY SAYS NO TO BAYWA WIND PROJECT
29 mai 2021
Last week the municipal council of Anlezy met to discuss the BayWa r.e. wind power project. In their wisdom, the majority of the elected representatives decided to reject this project.
The vote of the elected officials of Anlezy, carefully considered, sends a strong signal to the wind company that the inhabitants of Les Amognes are not intimidated by their false arguments and promises.
We are very grateful that they voted for the preservation of the environment of Anlezy and the Amognes region.
FRENCH PUBLIC AUTHORITY FOR TRANSPARENCY REQUESTS THE MAYOR OF CIZELY TO MAKE HIS EXCHANGES WITH WIND COMPANY BAYWA PUBLIC
9 juin 2019
In an opinion issued on March 25, 2021, the Commission d'Accès aux Documents Administratifs (CADA) gives right to the request for access to the documents exchanged between the mayor of Cizely, Xavier Châtelain, and the wind company BayWa.
CADA recalls that it is not possible for the mayor or the company to hide behind business secrecy in order not to disclose these documents when they contain information relating to emissions into the environment.
The CADA emphasizes that this obligation also applies to the exchanges between BayWa and the mayor of Cizely on his personal email account, whereas our associations have been able to confirm the existence of these exchanges.
The mayor of Cizely, in a situation of conflict of interest, refuses to communicate these documents.
THE MAYOR OF CIZELY REFUSES TO GIVE ACCESS TO THE DOCUMENTS EXCHANGED WITH BAYWA R.E.
9 juin 2019
The mayor of Cizely, Xavier Châtelain, has declined to communicate any of the administrative documents he has exchanged with the windpower company BayWa r.e.
This situation is particularly shocking. The conflict of interest existing in Cizely, where the mayor has a personal interest in the wind project, is a well-known fact.
The transmission of administrative documents is compulsary. The Commission of Access to Administrative Documents has been seized.
WIND POWER PROJECTS IN THE AMOGNES: OPPONENTS ATTACK ON SEVERAL FRONTS
(JOURNAL DU CENTRE, 01/13/2021)
9 juin 2019
Wind power projects in the Amognes: Opponents attack on several fronts
Les Amognes sees two wind energy projects on the horizon. Opponents are getting organized. The mayor of Cizely is particularly targeted in this complex case, for which two lawyers are intervening.
The tone hardens around the wind projects in the Cizely, Billy-Chevannes, Anlezy, Rouy and Saxi-Bourdon area.
While the measuring mast has been installed since last August, and the project leader, Bay War. e, says that "there is nothing new to announce until the wind measurement readings are compiled", the defense associations are getting organized.
This zone seems to be of particular interest to the holders of wind projects. On one side there is BayWa r.e, therefore, and on the other side Soléol; each hoping to be able to install six wind turbines. Previously, another wind company had had to abandon his project.
Soléol would target the Rouy-Saxi-Boudon and Billy-Chevannes zone; BayWa r.e, the communes of Cizely, Billy-Chevannes and Anlezy.
Also, the opponents (Amognes défense environnement and Avenir durable en Nivernais) have hired the services of several lawyers. A petition also collected 7,000 signatures on the Mesopinions site (Save the landscapes, biodiversity and quality of life of the Amognes!).
In September, Mr. Ciaudo filed an appeal with the administrative court of Dijon for "misappropriation of power" by the mayor of Cizely and his family. The issue at stake is the measuring mast that was allegedly installed on a piece of land belonging to the mayor's family .
"It's a rather complex case in terms of environmental law," continues the lawyer, who is contesting the authorization to install the mast. He hopes for a positive decision from the judges by the end of 2021, for dismantling.
The other line of defense for local residents is a request, dated December 8, sent by Echezar's office to the mayor of Cizely, asking him to communicate all preparatory administrative documents (received at the town hall or on his personal computer) on the project and on the particular interests that could be involved, in application of the rules of the commission for access to administrative documents.
In addition, the law firm should alert the public prosecutor about a possible conflict of interest during the vote, at the Cizely town council, on the implementation of the measuring mast.
The mayor did not wish to answer our questions, referring us to BayWa r.e.
CONFLICT OF INTEREST AND BAYWA PROJECT: LAWYERS REQUEST FULL DISCLOSURE OF ALL EXCHANGES BETWEEN MAYOR AND BAYWA R.E.
Text of the letter sent by Me Echezar, Attorney at Law, to the mayor of Cizely (December 8, 2020):
I am writing to you in my capacity as counsel of the association Avenir Durable en Nivernais (ADEN), domiciled in Chassy 58270 VILLE-LANGY.
I am hereby sending you a request for the communication of all administrative documents and letters exchanged between the municipality of CIZELY and the company BayWa r.e., which has a wind project on the territory of your municipality.
Pursuant to Articles L. 311-1 et seq. of the Code of Relations between the Public and the Administration, I therefore request that you send me as soon as possible all documents, letters and emails that have been exchanged between this company and yourself or any other representative of the municipality.
In particular, I draw your attention to a letter dated March 11, 2020, of which the association ADEN has been informed, by which the representatives of BayWa r.e., Ms. Diane ALESANDRINI and Mr. Kilian ALVAREZ, inform you of the solar/wind hybrid character of the project developed in your municipality, whereas the deliberations of the municipal council, as well as the information brochures of the BayWa r.e. Company, have not so far mentioned a solar dimension of this project.
I would therefore ask you to pay the greatest attention to the communication of documents, letters and e-mails relating to this solar dimension of the activities that the BayWa r.e. Company intends to carry out within the framework of this project which covers the communes of CIZELY, BILLY-CHEVANNES and ANLEZY.
In addition, the association Avenir Durable en Nivernais has been informed of electronic messages concerning the project sent by representatives of BayWa r.e. to your personal address (" ... "). I would like to remind you that, because of your position as mayor, the e-mails from BayWa r.e. representatives sent to your personal e-mail accounts must also be communicated in application of the above-mentioned articles of the code of relations between the public and the administration. Under no circumstances may they be deleted or altered in application of article L. 322-1 of the Criminal Code.
I would like to inform you that the Commission for Access to Administrative Documents (CADA), in a notice dated March 8, 2018 (20175780), recalled the framework of the obligation to disclose these documents, in particular on the basis of the provisions of the CGCT concerning the deliberations and minutes of local authorities, but also of Articles L. 124-1 et seq. of the Environmental Code and, subsidiarily, of Articles L. 311-1 et seq. of the Code on Relations between the Public and the Administration.
In addition, in its opinion of September 10, 2015 (no. 20153118), the CADA considered that: "In this respect, Articles L.124-4 and L.124-5 of this code exhaustively list the cases in which the administrative authority may reject a request for the communication of information relating to the environment, which do not include the preparatory nature of the document or information".
Finally, in accordance with the CADA notice of May 17, 2018 (20180249), it should be recalled that these communications should preferably be made via electronic downloading platforms.
The ethical rules governing my profession lead me to inform you that you can answer me directly or through your usual counsel.
Please accept, Mr. Mayor, the expression of my consideration."
A SOLAR PROJECT BEHIND THE BAYWA WIND PROJECT
We now discover that the BayWa r.e. wind project is in fact a mixed solar/wind project, a dimension which had never been mentioned in public documents, neither in the BayWa r.e. brochure on the project, nor in the deliberation of the Cizely City Council. This hybrid dimension is however affirmed in this March 2020 letter sent by BayWa r.e. representatives to the mayor of Cizely, which our association got acidentally.
This raises many questions: why this solar dimension was not mentioned? And what were the exchanges between BayWa r.e. and the mayor of Cizely, whose family and professional activities related to solar energy, starting with the operation of a photovoltaic park in Billy-Chevannes, are well-known?
All this adds up to the long list of our questions: why is it the mayor of Cizely who approaches landowners for the developer? why do they consult each other and arrive together at meetings of elected officials? why do they exchange messages on private e-mail accounts? is it normal that the wind measuring mast was installed on a field operated by the mayor, with undeclared preparatory work, and what is the counterpart?
CIZELY, BILLY-CHEVANNES, ANLEZY
BayWa r.e. seeks to install 8 wind turbines of 150-m high on the territory of the municipalities of Cizely, Billy-Chevannes and Anlezy all along an environment-protected "Natura 2000" site (Bocages, forests and wetlands of the Amognes).
In the past, other wind power companies studied the possibility to install turbines in this wooden area but then gave up because of the high risks for biodiversity and landscape preservation. BayWa r.e. preferred to dismiss similar warnings and go ahead with its industrial project.
By the end of 2019, BayWa r.e. started its contacts with the municipality of Cizely, whose mayor has personal interests in the project. A strong local opposition started once these plans became apparent with the installation of a 104-m high wind-measurement mast in August 2020. The municipality of Billy-Chevannes deliberated against the project in September 2020, and the municipality of Anlezy has suspended any deliberation on this matter.
On several occasions, BayWa r.e. representatives publicly discarded the serious concerns of local residents. This company, a subsidiary of a large German agricultural machinery group, is specialized in developing wind-energy infrastructures which it then sells to third parties.
SAXI-BOURDON, ROUY, BILLY-CHEVANNES
Soleol presents itself as a design office located in Privas (Ardèche), formerly called "Ecosoleil / Ecovent".
It is prospecting an area covering the municipalities of Saxi-Bourdon, Rouy and Billy-Chevannes in a hitherto preserved landscape marked by many heritage buildings (XII-century Saint-Antoine Church in Chevannes; Castle of Vesvres; Saint-Germain d'Auxerre Church in Rouy) and home to many protected species (migration corridor).
The installation of a wind-measuring tower, on a small plot of land in the municipality of Rouy, had been announced but has not materialized so far.
The Saxi-Bourdon municipality voted in favor of the project in November 2019 (former municipal team). The municipality of Billy-Chevannes voted against this project in September 2020.
The links between BayWa r.e. and Soleol are not clear. The two teams are in contact and organize meetings together. And local elected officials are sometimes asked by them to support the two projects as whole.