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News > Press Releases 2016 > Action for the protection of public interest against permission to construct a photovoltaic power plant

Action for the protection of public interest against permission to construct a photovoltaic power plant

01. 04. 2016

In 2012, the Public Defender of Rights contested the final administrative decisions by which the Duchcov Municipal Authority had permitted the construction of a photovoltaic power plant in the land-registry territory of Moldava in Krušné hory and, subsequently, had approved the structure for use.

The Defender found multiple errors in the administrative proceedings, since the environmental impact of this industrial structure had not been assessed in advance. Furthermore, the Construction Code had been flagrantly breached because the construction project had been permitted and carried out in an undeveloped free landscape and, hence, at variance with one of the basic principles of construction-law regulations, i.e. protection of undeveloped territories (greenfields). See also the Annual Reports on the Activities of the Public Defender of Rights for 2012 (p. 34), 2013 (p. 29) and 2014 (p. 20).

On 8 October 2014, the Regional Court in Ústí nad Labem annulled the contested decisions of the Duchcov Municipal Authority on grounds of unlawfulness and procedural defects and referred the case back to the Municipal Authority for further proceedings. The defendant subsequently appealed against the court’s decision through cassation complaint filed with the Supreme Administrative Court, which cancelled the judgement of the Regional Court in Ústí nad Labem on 18 June 2015 and referred the case back for further proceedings.

On 16 December 2015, the Regional Court in Ústí nad Labem again satisfied the Defender’s action and, for the second time, cancelled the decision through which the construction of the photovoltaic power plant had been approved in combined land-use and construction proceedings.

The court also addressed the issue of locus standi of the Defender, i.e. whether or not a public interest serious enough to entitle the Public Defender of Rights to file an action had been ascertained. The court noted that this serious public interest did exist, which was documented e.g. by the opinion of the Czech Environmental Inspectorate, which likewise confirmed the existence of a serious public interest (consisting in affecting the environment and protection of the landscape).

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