An energy firm wants to build 10 turbines – each twice the height of Big Ben – on the site where tens of thousands died
The remains of British soldiers could be disturbed if a plan to build a wind farm on the site of a First World War battlefield goes ahead.
Energy firm InnoVent wants to build 10 turbines – each twice the height of Big Ben – on the site of the 1915 Battle of Loos, near Calais, where tens of thousands died.
The Leicester Regiment alone lost more than 500 men in just seven days.
Veterans’ relatives also fear the turbines will ruin the setting of cemeteries in the area.
Regimental historian Richard Lane said the scheme would be “disastrous” to the landscape.
He added: “There are likely to be the remains of those who died which could be disturbed.”
Bob Allan, chairman of the regiment’s Royal Tigers Association, said: “We would oppose anything that would impinge on the tranquillity and setting of the cemeteries of the battlefield.”
Plans for the wind farm were submitted by the French firm last year but only emerged last week following a public meeting in Calais.
The final decision on whether it can be built lies with the Nord Pas de Calais Prefect.
Local conservationist Bruno Schmit said InnoVent had taken no account of the site’s historical importance.
He said: “We want the prefect to declare this zone unbuildable. That is our goal.”
InnoVent spokesman Clement Prouvost said: “We will keep turbines a minimum distance of 600 yards from cemeteries.”
He said the company is delaying the scheme – but is still committed to building on the battlefields.
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