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Windfarm site is for the birds, says SSE  

The presence of golden eagles and red kites in a Perthshire glen has convinced an energy company to pull the plug on plans for a windfarm.

Scottish and Southern Energy (SSE) said last night it has axed plans for 20 wind turbines in Glen Tarken, near Comrie, after analysing bird data gathered there over the past few years.

The surveys showed the site’s northern area was used by golden eagles and the southern area by red kites – both rare species. After consulting with local RSPB officers, SSE concluded the 30MW windfarm could pose a risk to the birds.

Brian Smith, of SSE, said: “The development of more windfarms in Scotland is vital if we are to maintain secure supplies of power and tackle the huge risks to our country posed by climate change. But each potential site must be considered on its merits and be the subject of detailed scrutiny.

“Our work has shown that a windfarm at Glen Tarken would not be sufficiently compatible with other environmental concerns, and so we have decided not to progress this further.”

The Perth-based energy giant’s decision was praised by Anne McCall of RSPB.

She said: “That SSE has resolved not to develop on this environmentally sensitive site is enormously welcome and is an approach we commend to all those involved with the renewables industry.”

Meanwhile, moves to change local authority planning guidelines for wind turbines have been described as pro-development.

The executive is consulting on changes to the guidelines.

But Caithness Windfarm Information Forum (CWIF) says the changes are heavily weighted in favour of developers.

It claims that the protection afforded to the public in the planning system is being sacrificed to meet the executive’s ambitious green energy targets.

Ministers want 40% of Scotland’s electricity to come from renewable energy sources by 2020.

Stuart Young, of CWIF, said: “There’s no doubt the whole point of this consultation document is to make it easier for developers to get planning permission. The proposed new guidelines would load the dice very much more in favour of the developers.”

Mr Young said the proposed new regime would remove the protection for communities.

The presence of golden eagles and red kites in a Perthshire glen has convinced an energy company to pull the plug on plans for a windfarm.

Scottish and Southern Energy (SSE) said last night it has axed plans for 20 wind turbines in Glen Tarken, near Comrie, after analysing bird data gathered there over the past few years.

The surveys showed the site’s northern area was used by golden eagles and the southern area by red kites – both rare species. After consulting with local RSPB officers, SSE concluded the 30MW windfarm could pose a risk to the birds.

Brian Smith, of SSE, said: “The development of more windfarms in Scotland is vital if we are to maintain secure supplies of power and tackle the huge risks to our country posed by climate change. But each potential site must be considered on its merits and be the subject of detailed scrutiny.

“Our work has shown that a windfarm at Glen Tarken would not be sufficiently compatible with other environmental concerns, and so we have decided not to progress this further.”

The Perth-based energy giant’s decision was praised by Anne McCall of RSPB.

She said: “That SSE has resolved not to develop on this environmentally sensitive site is enormously welcome and is an approach we commend to all those involved with the renewables industry.”

Meanwhile, moves to change local authority planning guidelines for wind turbines have been described as pro-development.

The executive is consulting on changes to the guidelines.

But Caithness Windfarm Information Forum (CWIF) says the changes are heavily weighted in favour of developers.

It claims that the protection afforded to the public in the planning system is being sacrificed to meet the executive’s ambitious green energy targets.

Ministers want 40% of Scotland’s electricity to come from renewable energy sources by 2020.

Stuart Young, of CWIF, said: “There’s no doubt the whole point of this consultation document is to make it easier for developers to get planning permission. The proposed new guidelines would load the dice very much more in favour of the developers.”

Mr Young said the proposed new regime would remove the protection for communities.

thisisnorthscotland.co.uk

This article is the work of the source indicated. Any opinions expressed in it are not necessarily those of National Wind Watch.

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