RSPB experts have given their blessing to proposals for a new wind farm to be built on the site of the Bleak House open cast mine.
There were fears that migratory birds would be killed by the three proposed propellors, but the RSPB has concluded that the wind farm is “unlikely to impact” on bird populations and should be allowed to go ahead.
Andrew Waters, the RSPB’s public affairs officer for the West Midlands, told The Post that the society had been consulted about the project and have given it the all clear.
“We studied the Bleak House application particularly carefully as Cannock Chase is good for birds, being inter-nationally important for nightjars.
“With that in mind we looked carefully at any issues that there might have been. Having done this we decided not to object to the proposed wind farm.”
Mr Waters stressed that the RSPB are only able to oppose a scheme based on tis potential impact on birds and not the potential impact to the landscape, which he said was a matter for the planning authority.
He added that the RSPB support renewable energy, but Birds like this nightjar are at home on Cannock Chase have a duty to examine the potential impact of technologies such as wind and wave power on vulnerable species.
“In principle we are positive about natural energies – climate change is the greatest threat to birds, so we have to strike a balance.
“We know from other wind farms what the impact of this development is likely to be. Birds can just as well fly into a house as into a wind turbine and the death of one bird which is as likely to have died in winter will not make a major difference to population levels.”
29 May 2008
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