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Circuit court does not satisfy complaint by Sonajalg brothers re Tootsi property

Estonian news - eteap April 12, 2019

Baltic News Service. 12th of April, 2019

The Tallinn Circuit court did not satisfy an appeal by Eleon AS, a company of businessmen Andres and Oleg Sonajalg, seeking to cancel or prohibit the organization of an auction regarding the Tootsi wind farm property on the terms set by the state forest management company RMK.

Eleon also wished that the confirmation of auction results be forbidden until the Ministry of Economic Affairs and Communications has solved the plaintiff’s application seeking to establish building rights on the Tootsi property and that no sales contract should be concluded with the winning bidder until such time, court spokesperson Anneli Vilu told BNS.

The circuit court said that the organization of the auction was decided and announced before the plaintiff filed an application to the ministry for said building rights.

The state’s decision to auction off the Tootsi property is more compatible with public interests than imposing building rights on it for the benefit of a single entrepreneur, the court said, adding that an auction grants all those interested an equal opportunity to compete for the acquisition of the property, and may also yield higher revenue for the state.

“Similarly to all other wind power enterprises, the plaintiff, too, can participate in the auction and submit their bid,” the court said.

As the plaintiff does not have the right to demand a property belonging to the state be encumbered with building rights in the plaintiff’s favor, putting the property up for auction cannot constitute an infringement of the plaintiff’s rights. The court conceded, however, that instead of admitting the plaintiff’s complaint and giving them vague hope, the state could have returned the plaintiff’s application immediately by referring to the decision previously made regarding the transfer of the Tootsi property.

An appeal in cassation can be submitted to the Supreme court until May. 13, the latest.

Tallinn administrative court found in October that RMK should have announced the auction of the property of the Tootsi wind farm sooner and enabled those interested to inspect the draft agreement, but left other terms of the auction in force.

The Tootsi wind farm property is situated on 160 hectares in the territory of the Vandra rural municipality in Parnu County. It consists of 40 cadastral units, 38 of which have been designated for wind turbines and two for wind measuring towers.

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