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Objection lodged over Nathro Hill plans

The Scottish Natural Heritage (SNH) has submitted an objection to the Scottish Government over plans to erect 17 wind turbines on Nathro Hill, near Brechin.

SNH have objected as a result of several issues – including a risk to the River South Esk. SNH have said that the developments location to the River South Esk, “poses a risk of a serious pollution”.

The risk of pollution could arise from works during, or as a result of, construction releasing sediment or causing peat slippage into the water.

The River South Esk is a special area of conservation (SAC) due to the presence of freshwater pearl mussels and Atlantic salmon. In their reasons for objecting, SNH have suggested that the environmental statement should include a drainage management plan, a pollution prevention plan, and an accident management plan.

SNH have also supported the Scottish Environmental Protection Agency’s advice that a peat slide risk assessment should be produced as they could become a pollution risk if disturbed.

SNH added: “Owing to the current uncertainty, we object to the current proposal on the grounds of the potential risk to the River South Esk SAC.

“We will review this part of our objection once further information on the above concerns, including the peat slide risk, has been provided.”

Also in their objection, SNH highlighted the risk to the Cairngorms National Park, and in particular the special protection area classified for breeding golden eagles.

They added: “Further information is required to determine whether the proposal will have an adverse effect on an important nesting pair of golden eagle. We therefore object until this additional information is obtained from the applicant and considered by the Scottish Government.”

They also believe that more information is needed on the effect the site will have on the foraging habitat of the eagles.

While SNH state that the wind farm is “unlikely to cause direct disturbance or mortality to golden eagles”, they object to the proposals until further information is obtained from Eurowind.