Wind farm could disturb war graves

The wind turbine at Lancaster University. STOCK PIC.
The wind turbine at Lancaster University. STOCK PIC.
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There are fears for the future of historic World War II graves after it was claimed a proposed Isle wind farm could be built over them.

A six turbine farm is planned by REG Windpower for land at Medge Hall near Crowle, the site of a Lancaster Bomber plane crash in September 1945.

Speaking at the recent Crowle Town Council meeting, Coun Trevor Barker alerted members to the possibility of a war grave being disturbed by the development.

He said: “There’s a Lancaster bomber still in the ground somewhere in that area. I’ve been doing some work over the past month trying to find out more about it, but I feel we should look in to it more closely now. There are people in Crowle who were here when the plane crashed. One of the planned turbines looks to be very close to the site where it happened off Marsh Road.”

Two Australian airmen were never found after the crash in September 1945,

Chair Coun Paul McCartan said: “This is an important issue, especially this year of all years. It is something that needs to be explored in detail.”

Coun Barker added: “I am in touch with the War Graves Commission over this and have been doing my own research for some time. Most information is from the people of Crowle themselves who remember the crash or who were told about it.”

A Ministry of Defence spokesperson said: “The MoD does not fund archaeological digs of historic aircraft. However if human remains are found, working with the Commonwealth War Graves Commission, the MoD will inform families, fund a burial in the local area where the remains are found, and support close family members attending a funeral service.”

A spokesman for the Commonwealth War Graves Commission said: “I should explain that naval wrecks and crashed aircraft are often referred to as war graves but they are not – as they are not maintainable as such.

“They can be designated as protected sites and they remain the responsibility of the government for which they were serving – and in this case that is the UK MOD. The CWGC’s responsibility begins when remains are handed to us for burial.

“In the UK, and within UK territorial waters, there also exists the Protection of Military Remains Act 1986.”

Simon Morgan from REG Windpower said: “We are currently undertaking extensive studies for our proposed site at Old River Don, including archaeological research, and are consulting with the local community about our proposals. The one of the purposes of this local consultation is that it enables us to take local knowledge into account when designing wind farms capable of generating significant quantities of renewable electricity.

“We are planning another set of public exhibitions in the early summer, prior to submitting a planning application. Local residents will be able to view our proposals and ask any questions to the project team.”