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Construction of two wind turbines

In April 2010 the State Party informed the World Heritage Centre of the construction project, by the Final Energy Company, of two wind turbines in the proximity of the Historic Centre of Brugge with a total height of (mast and rotor) of 113 meters; the wings of the rotor measure 82 meters. An impact study undertaken from different areas in the city demonstrated that the wind turbines would be visible above the historic buildings and this in several places. The State Party therefore requested the advice of the World Heritage Centre and ICOMOS regarding this project.

In its evaluation, ICOMOS considers that the documentation provided clearly demonstrates that the wind turbines would be visible from within the inscribed property and would negatively affect its integrity and its Outstanding Universal Value. The World Heritage Centre drew the same conclusion. In view of these comments, the State Party informed that this project has been abandoned.

The World Heritage Centre and the Advisory Bodies are concerned about the gradual erosion of the urban fabric due to the lack of protection of the buildings, the urban landscape and the urban typology, as well as the lack of effective urban planning policies respecting the attributes that convey the Outstanding Universal Value of the property.

They are also concerned about the threats emerging in the environment surrounding the property and from the commercial and administrative districts.

The World Heritage Centre and the Advisory Bodies consider that an urgent response is needed to the mission recommendations calling for an improved understanding of the specific attributes of the city that convey the Outstanding Universal Value, an improved protection of the historic urban fabric, improved planning policies and a better governance that integrates conservation with development.

They commend the decision of the State Party to withdraw the scheme for the two large wind turbines.

Draft decision:

34 COM 7B.79

The World Heritage Committee,

  • 1.

    Having examined Document WHC-10/34.COM/7B.Add,

  • 2.

    Recalling Decision 33 COM 7B.94 adopted at its 33rd session (Seville, 2009),

  • 3.

    Expresses its concern regarding the conclusions of the mission that indicate the gradual erosion of the attributes that convey the Outstanding Universal Value and, consequently, threaten the integrity of the property in terms of overall coherence and distinctiveness;

  • 4.

    Strongly recommends to the State Party to implement the recommendations of the mission, in particular:

    • a)

      explore ways to list the property in the framework of national legislation as an « urban landscape » to protect the coherence and the overall urban form,

    • b)

      undertake the study of the specific urban areas to define the urban typology and the conditions for possible future development,

State of conservation of World Heritage properties inscribed on the World Heritage List

WHC-10/34.COM/7B.Add, p. 139

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