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French wind farm could affect the Island's bats, experts warn

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JERSEY'S bat population could be threatened if plans to build a wind farm 23 miles off the south coast of the Island are given the go-ahead, a conservation group has said.

Ani Binet, volunteer researcher for the Jersey Bat Group, said she was concerned that the migratory route of the bats could be disrupted if the wind farm is built. She spoke out after an independent commission in France, which oversaw the project's public inquiry, gave the development its approval.

The préfecture of the Côtes-d'Armor in Brittany is currently considering a planning application lodged by French wind farm developers Ailes Marines.

If approved construction of the facility, which would sit in French seas close to the boundary with Jersey's territorial waters, could begin next year, with electricity being generated by 2020.

Miss Binet, who won the JEP's Pride of Jersey Environmentalist of the Year Award last year sponsored by Jersey Electricity, said: 'There is evidence to suggest that bats follow air currents when migrating which is also where wind farms tend to be placed.

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