US couple’s French chateau dream blown by wind turbine

The restored Château de Falloux

A project to install four giant wind turbines near a village has driven a wealthy American couple away from the chateau they spent €6million restoring.

Their departure has shaken the budding tourist industry of Bourg-d’Iré, in Maine-et-Loire.

The chateau is now for sale and an offer to leave it to the village is unlikely to happen.

Property developer millionaires David and William O’Neil saw the 17th century 100-room Château de Falloux on the edge of the village when it was in a run-down condition.

They were interested in buying it to live a long-held dream of retiring to France but were put off when they heard of proposals to build three wind turbines nearby.

After speaking to the council, which then voted against the project, and seeing the plan withdrawn, they went ahead, purchasing it for €500,000 and spending a further €6million on restoration.

The work was completed in late 2016 – but two years later the couple discovered a new project to install four turbines, 150 metres tall, had the support ...

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