Public Inquiry: Petit Bos Windfarm Project

We have made a translation of this page available to our non-francophone friends because we know that you share our love of this area, and we want to make sure you are aware of what is happening – and what you can do about it.

At Milhac Transition, nous parlons français, we speak english and we spreken nederlands, so please contact us if you have any questions about the inquiry, or about our collective.

It’s official: the public inquiry on the proposed wind farm project for Milhac-de-Nontron opens on the 27th October.

Make no mistake: this project is still very much going ahead and is fast progressing.

Now is the time to act!

Background Information

The Petit Bos wind farm project was launched by a company called SARL CHAMPS GAZANIA. They are proposing to erect several industrial-sized wind turbines in the commune of Milhac-de-Nontron. The proposed site (le Petit Bos) is based within the Parc Naturel Régional Périgord-Limousin and covers an area of 120 hectares, of which 69% is wooded.

The plan is to erect four 200 m (650 ft) tall wind turbines. The wind farm is due to run for around 20 to 25 years, which is the average lifespan of a wind turbine. Once authorisation for this project is obtained, nothing stops the promoters from erecting additional turbines on the site.

The proposed site for this project covers a major migratory flightpath. There is an ornithological reserve at the nearby lake of Miallet, used by numerous species of migratory birds as a resting point. It is also used by various non-migratory species as a breeding and nesting ground.

The promoters of a similar project that targeted the Queue d’Âne (Saint-Saud) submitted a request for a “Demande de Dérogation pour la Destruction, l’Altération, ou la Dégradation de Sites de Reproduction ou d’Aires de Repos d’Animaux d’Espèces Protégées” (a waiver application for permission to cause the destruction, alteration, or degradation of protected species, animal breeding sites or resting areas). The promoters have made no such application for this project despite the fact that it too threatens the wellbeing of over 70 protected species.

Each individual turbine requires 15 000 m² of room; indeed an area of 10 000 m² is needed just to assemble the fans. A minimum 2000 m² of access roads are required per wind turbine. That is a total of 8.5 hectares, including 6 hectares of forest destroyed. One hectare of forest absorbs on average 300 tonnes of CO².

Around 1 500 HGVs will be required to carry out the work, all of which run on fossil fuels and further pollute the atmosphere.

Milhac Transition’s Opinion

As we lay out in our joint Declaration of Intent, the members of Milhac Transition support the idea of a harmonious and balanced ecological transition that takes into account the preservation of biodiversity, that understands the practicalities of local energy resources and that respects local residents.

This project is the antithesis of our values and we oppose it fully. We have compiled a list of our arguments. which you can also download as a PDF.  We are counting on you to give your opinion and to help defend our countryside. You are welcome to incorporate our arguments into your own to help you prepare your responses to the enquiry.

You can if preferred download our example opposition document. This gives a variety of arguments and you can tick any which you choose to make. 

Please note: although you are strongly encouraged to participate in this inquiry, any and all responses must be delivered in French, or they will not be considered. This is why our example document is in French.

example opposition document

The Steps We Are Taking

In order to combat this project, the members of Milhac Transition have planned a number of measures, several of which are already underway. In the days and weeks to come, we are going to:

  • Produce and print an information leaflet about this project and deliver it to all households in the affected areas
  • Issue a press release
  • Contact all our members by email to seek their assistance
  • Design and print a poster to be displayed in the main squares of all affected towns
  • Write to our elected representatives seeking their support. In particular, we are targeting the mayors of Milhac, St Pardoux and Saint Front, the Président of the President du Conseil de la Dordogne…
  • Collaborate with other associations and collectives in the area to better coordinate our actions
  • Respond to the pubic enquiry, both as individuals and as a collective
  • Encourage and assist other individuals to respond to the enquiry

Now is the time to act: Over to You !

The inquiry is made up of president Mr Christian JOUSSAIN, Honorary Police Commander, and of Mr Alain LESPINASSE, retired from the Ministry of Defence and Mr Alain LAUMON, retired Divisional Engineer for Agriculture and Environment. Starting from 27th October, you can give them your opinion on this project. This you can do:

Milhac-de-NontronTues 27 October8:30 am to 11:30 am
Saint-Saud-LacoussièreWed 27 October2:30 pm to 5:30 pm
Milhac-de-NontronSat 31 October9:00 am to 12:00 pm
Saint-Saud-LacoussièreTues 3 November9:00 am to 12:00 pm
Milhac-de-NontronFri 6 November9:00 am to 12:00 pm
Milhac-de-NontronSat 12 November9:00 am to 12:00 pm
Saint-Saud-LacoussièreWed 18 November2:30 pm to 5:30 pm
Milhac-de-NontronFri 20 November9:00am to 12:00 pm
Saint-Saud-LacoussièreSat 21 November9:00 am to 11:30 am
Milhac-de-NontronMon 23 November9:00 am to 12:00 pm
Milhac-de-NontronMon 30 November9:00 am to 12:00 pm

A dossier containing an impact study, as well as the opinion of the Mission Régionale de l’Autorité Environnementale will be available in the mairies. They are also available online on the services de l’État en Dordogne website.

Who Does This Project Affect?

The communes directly affected by this project are those based within a 6 km radius of the proposed site. These are:

  • Champs-Romain
  • Milhac-de-Nontron
  • Saint-Front-la-Rivière
  • Saint-Jory-de Chalais
  • Saint-Martin-de-Fressengeas
  • Saint-Pardoux-la-Rivière
  • Saint-Saud-Lacoussière