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Wildlife charity challenges Scottish windfarms



Wildlife Charity RSPB Scotland has a launched a legal challenge over the consent of four offshore windfarms in the Outer Forth and Tay. The organisation argues that the projects could have “serious implications” on wildlife in the area.

The wind farm developments – Neart na Geoithe, Inch Cape, Seagreen Alpha, and Seagreen Bravo – were approved in October and were expected to provide 2,284 gigawatts of power each year, the equivalent of powering 1.4 million homes.

Consent was given under conditions around mitigating environmental impact and the projects received the backing from some environmental groups, including Friends of the Earth Scotland. However, RSPB said it had concerns about the proximity of seabird colonies.

A spokesperson of RSPB Scotland said, “We have not taken this decision lightly, but having given serious consideration to these decisions to grant consent, we have decided to take legal action. RSPB Scotland has a proven track record of taking a stand on nature to ensure that wildlife and the natural environment is properly safeguarded for the future.”

He added, “If these decisions are allowed to stand, they could have serious implications for how birds and important wildlife sites are protected across Scotland and beyond.”

Scottish Renewables has voiced is disappointment in the decision, noting that the opposed projects have already been through ”rigorous, detailed and independent” assessments and could now face delays.

Lindsay Leask, senior policy manager at Scottish Renewables, commented, “This action is now holding up two-thirds of the schemes in development around our coastline. This new delay will make it even harder for Scotland to catch up with the rest of the UK and Northern Europe, which already have a sizeable offshore wind industry and supply chain supporting thousands of jobs.”

Photo: Kim Hansen via Flickr 

Further reading:

Offshore wind farms provide feeding opportunities for seals

Offshore renewables projects ‘stepping stone’ habitats for marine wildlife

London Array expansion plans scrapped over bird safety concerns

Political parties urged to make environment key part of election manifestos

Wind farms an ‘attractive long-term’ investment opportunity