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RSPB says Bagmoor Wind appeal on Stacain windfarm damages renewables industry’s good name

RSPB Scotland has just issued a media statement condemning a decision by a developer to appeal a second ruling by ministers to refuse consent for a wind farm as ‘wholly irresponsible, and damaging to the industry’s green credentials. It is also a huge waste of money and a drain on precious public resources that are already under pressure.’

The statement goes on:

‘Bagmoor Wind’s proposal for a 14 turbine wind farm development at Stacain near Inveraray in Argyll was refused for a second time in July following a six-year planning process that involved two public local inquiries, costing a great amount of time and money from the public purse. The development, within the Glen Etive and Glen Fyne Special Protection Area (SPA) for golden eagles, would pose a significant threat to birds due to habitat loss and risk of collision with turbines.

‘The last decision, made in July this year, followed an appeal that overturned on a technicality a previous refusal by Ministers in October 2009.

‘Now Bagmoor wind intend to appeal the decision again, requiring further public funds and investment of time to consider an application that is clearly unsuitable.

‘Aedán Smith, Head of Planning and Development at RSPB Scotland, said: “The developer’s continued insistence on this wholly inappropriate wind farm is damaging the reputation of the industry. Thankfully most renewable developers are focussed on delivering much-needed sustainable proposals in the right place that do not harm precious habitats or wildlife and help reduce greenhouse gasses.

‘He added: “This latest appeal smacks of desperation and shows the developers have little regard for wildlife. This project has twice been refused by Scottish Ministers because of its damaging impact on golden eagles, and yet the developers persist in appealing to the courts. Bagmoor Wind are also inflicting unnecessary expense on the public purse, as Scottish Ministers will again need to defend this action. The developer should stop flogging this dead horse, accept that it is a damaging development that is neither needed or wanted and concentrate on developing in more appropriate locations.”

The Stacain decision has been a protracted, divided and divisive one, which has included a public inquiry. This statement from RSPB Scotland contributes to the ongoing debate.