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Article published the Thursday 29 August 2013 - Latest update : Thursday 29 August 2013

Court bans wind farm from near Mont Saint Michel

This year's tour de France passes in front of the Mont-Saint-Michel.
This year's tour de France passes in front of the Mont-Saint-Michel.
Stéphane Mantey/L’Équipe

By RFI

A French court has banned a local council from setting up a wind farm near the Mont Saint Michel abbey island which could threaten the site's Unesco World Heritage status, a lawyer said Thursday.

A local environment and landscape group and the owners of a nearby château had

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challenged a decision by the local administration in May 2011 to set up four wind turbines 140 metres to four kilometres south of the Gothic abbey.

They complained that, on a clear day, the wind turbines would be visible from the monument, which attracts about 2.5 million tourists annually, spoiling the view.

The ruling was made in the middle of this month and decrees that one cannot just "set up wind turbines anywhere" one wishes, said Benoist Busson, a lawyer for the campaigners.

Five wind farm projects around Mont Saint Michel, which was declared a Unesco World Heritage site in 1979, had been rejected between 2008 and 2010 by the local government.

Unesco had earlier written to the French government asking it to explain the project.

tags: Christianity - Ecology - France - Mont St Michel - Renewable energy - Tourism - Unesco
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