France to build wind farms that will 'desecrate D-day landing beaches'

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France to build wind farms that will 'desecrate D-day landing beaches'

Plans are underway to build 75 wind turbines, each 100 metres high, which will be easily visible from two of the five memorial beaches on the Normandy coast.

French electricity company EDF plans to install the turbines about eight miles offshore, divided between five separate wind farms.

The Daily Mail reports that one proposed site is a 48 square mile wind farm off the coast of Courseulles-sur-Mer, home to Juno Beach, where hundreds of Royal Marines and Canadian Infantry died during the June 6, 1944, invasion. It would also be visible from Omaha Beach, where there were more than 2,000 casualties among US forces.

Campaigners say that the turbines are "an insult to the memory of the thousands who died there."

Jean-Louis Butre, president of the European Platform Against Wind Farms, said: "We consider this project to be a sacrilege on the families of the 10,000 soldiers who sacrificed their lives to save France from tyranny."

Karl Scheerlinck, who lives in Arromanches-les-Bains, where the British soldiers landed, said: "These beaches belong to history. It's from here that the liberation of the world began.

"If you allow a comparison, I don't think the Germans would permit the construction of a wind park next to the ruins of a concentration camp. These are sacred areas."

However, Anne d'Orano, a former local official has spoken to Canadian veterans. She said: "Veterans believe in the future. They have offshore wind farms in their countries. They are thinking about future generations."

Sky News reports that meetings are now being held in both French and English to discuss the issue.

The project is part of a strategy to use renewable energy to meet almost a quarter of France's needs by 2030. The wind farms, which would be operational by 2015, would generate six gigawatts, or 3.5 per cent of France's energy needs, per year.

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