The new development plan for the Datteln 4 coal-fired power plant, which has been providing electricity since 2020, is also ineffective. The Higher Administrative Court of the State of North Rhine-Westphalia on Thursday annulled the plan that the city of Datteln had relaunched after a decision of 2009. As justification, the 10th Senate said that the choice of the location does not did not meet legal requirements. The verdict is not yet legally binding. The OVG does not allow a review. However, an appeal against this decision is possible with the Federal Administrative Court in Leipzig. When planning, the court finds serious errors in the choice of location. “The city council of Datteln has taken up the wrong choice of location made in terms of town and country planning”, the court declared in support of the decision. In the event of a change in the regional development plan of the administrative district of Münster, the court is convinced that the environmental precautionary provisions have been violated.
For example, alternative locations were not considered from the outset. The search area was wrongly limited to the Emscher-Lippe area. “It was obviously a question of not endangering the location of Datteln,” Presiding Judge Detlev Klein Altstedde said at the hearing. The complainants were the neighboring town of Waltrop, the environmental organization BUND and four individuals. The higher regional court declared the initial development plan ineffective in 2009 because it was not in line with state planning. The Uniper operator’s power plant can still be operated. The basis is an approval from 2017. Legal proceedings against this approval are pending before the 8th Senate of the OVG. The court will later decide on the consequences of the decision on the management plan for approval. “We take note of the judgment of the OVG NRW, which is not yet legally binding, but expressly do not share the opinion of the court,” said a spokesperson for the company. Uniper will analyze the reasons for judgment and review the filing of legal remedies. “One thing is clear, however: the court today did not rule on the closure of Datteln 4, but on formal aspects of town planning law,” said a spokesperson.