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The UN's cultural agency has asked France to suspend all plans to build wind farms that could mar the view of the island abbey of Mont Saint Michel – the Benedictine abbey on a rocky island off the Normandy coast that has been a world heritage site since 1979.
Unesco, which is holding its annual meeting in Paris until 29 June, asked France to put a hold on the installation of wind turbines in the area around the monument, which is a major tourist attraction.
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The heritage site committee has asked for wind farm projects to be suspended until a report on their impact on the view from the heritage site can be produced – probably by next year.
Several wind farms are being considered in the coastal area on the border between Normandy and Brittany. One project has been given the green light by local authorities, to install three turbines of about 100 metres high some 17 kilometres away.
Critics say that those turbines would be visible from the Mont Saint Michel site, and would mar a unique view. The heritage site attracts more than three million visitors a year.