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NordvestnytJuly 3, 2014Denmark

Giant wind turbines close down plant nursery

All female employees have been complaining of irregular menstruations, and several workers have permanent headaches.

Translation by Greta Gallandy-Jakobsen

Plant nursery Lammefjordens Stauder near Holbæk
Plant nursery Lammefjordens Stauder near Holbæk

For almost three years now 10 giant wind turbines at Lammefjord near Gislinge have blown plenty of power to the energy company Vattenfall and to consumers.

But now they have also blown away a 43 years old plant nursery and its 15 employees, which had annual sales of 12 million krones [2.1 million dollars].

For the owner of Lammefjordens Perennials, Boye Jensen, has chosen to close down his nursery almost entirely, located as it is within 400-700 meters of three wind turbines.

There will just be a few employees left, and they will work only sporadically.

The nursery owner made this hard decision after a mink breeder in Jutland was able to establish a causal link between the loss of a third of his mink puppies, deformed or stillborn, and several giant wind turbines erected nearby.

Himself a neighbour to 127-metre high wind turbines since their installation three years ago, Boye Jensen has long been convinced that low frequency noise emitted by the turbines makes people ill as they do animals.

“When the mink case became known to the public, five of my staff resigned. You have to know that all my female employees have been complaining of irregular menstruations, and several workers have permanent headaches.

“They are also afraid of getting chronic illnesses, and I don’t want to be responsible for one of them giving birth to a deformed child. So, I am shutting down my life-long enterprise”, he says.

Boye Jensen at his plant nursery
Boye Jensen at his plant nursery

Request for a compensation of millions of krones

Boye Jensen’s big problem is that the authorities are still not sure that giant wind turbines make people sick, and it is uncertain whether he can get compensation. But the 67-year-old nursery owner is going for a compensation in the millions. “I am closing my business because of the turbines. Otherwise I would have continued for 6-7 years, and then I would have put the nursery on the market. But now the property is unsalable.

“First, together with my lawyer, we need to find out whom we will take to court: Vattenfall, which own the turbines, or the municipality of Holbæk, which approved their installation.”

In Holbæk, Mayor Soren Kjærsgaard is sad that Lammefjordens Perennials are now withering away into nothing. But he is not worried about a lawsuit for damages. “We have tried to help Lammefjordens Perennials by getting a medical officer from the national health administration, as well as the Ministry of Public Health, to look into the matter. But the municipality has no legal ground for stepping in. The windfarm legislation sets very clearly what may and may not be done, and Vattenfall has been complying with noise limits.

Original article in Danish
Translation - Article of Nordvestnyt - July 3, 2014