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The French authorities have withdrawn a permit for three turbines 20km from Mont-St-Michel in preparation for imposing an exclusion zone around the Unesco World Heritage Site.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

http://www.la-croix.com/Culture-Loisirs/Culture/Actualite/L-Etat-retire-son-feu-vert-a-trois-eoliennes-pres-du-Mont-Saint-Michel-_NG_-2012-04-03-784482

Unesco has been deliberating on the potential impact of turbines in the area for some time and the authorities had feared that they might remove the site from the World Heritage List. Last year Unesco asked that projects be suspended until the organisation reached a decision, to be announced in June and in the meantime the regional authorities are drawing up an exclusion zone 20-40km around the mount, yes, that’s 40km, which should be finalised by September. Although the three turbines would have been “barely visible with the naked eye”, the authorities said they asked for the project to be withdraw to be consistent with the proposed exclusion zone.

The contrast with Britain hardly needs stressing. Is there any monument here that would be given a tenth of that protection to its setting? It seems unlikely. In fact, if the French and UNESCO are concerned to protect the visual setting of any monuments on the northern coast of France to the same standard as Mont St Michel they may find themselves powerless to do so – Kent is less than 40km away!

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