Unesco fear causes French wind project cancelation

FRANCE: The French authorities have withdrawn a permit for three turbines 20km from Mont-St-Michel in preparation for imposing an exclusion zone around the Unesco World Heritage Site.

The wind turbines would have been located 20km from Mont St Michel
The wind turbines would have been located 20km from Mont St Michel

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Mont-St-Michel is a tidal island off the coast of Normandy. Although the island has only 40 occupants, its buildings date back to the 11th century.

Unesco has been deliberating on the potential impact of turbines in the area for some time, following appeals by anti-wind groups and conservationists. The authorities fear that Unesco might remove the site from its list.

Last year Unesco asked that projects be suspended until the organisation reached a decision, to be announced in June.

In the meantime, the regional authorities are drawing up an exclusion zone 20-40km around the mount, which should be finalised by September.

The authorities have refused at least ten siting permits for projects around Mont-St-Michel over the last decade and granted only one — the Argouges project developed by Epuron.

Although the turbines would barely be visible with the naked eye, the authorities said it asked Epuron to withdraw the project to be consistent with the proposed exclusion zone.

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