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Fears Saddle Hill windfarm will drive out local bird population  

Credit:  Habitat loss fears over windfarm | By Graeme Strachan | The Courier | 28 November 2014 | www.thecourier.co.uk ~~

A major windfarm development on the Angus/Perthshire border could lead to habitat loss and displacement for some 46 species of birds.

The proposed Saddle Hill windfarm, approximately 4.5km north west of Kilry, would comprise up to 14 turbines (2MW) with a height of 115 metres.

A full Environmental Impact Assesment (EIA) was carried out over the past 18 months to consider any environmental issues in relation to the design of the project.

The EIA involves an analysis of how the windfarm proposal could impact on the environment including landscape and visual amenity, recreation and tourism, ecology, archaeology, hydrology and hydro-geology, traffic, sound levels, telecommunications and aviation. The proposal includes mitigation measures, where necessary, and improvements to the local environment.

The results of the EIA have formed a report called an Environmental Statement (ES), which was submitted along with an application for planning permission.

During a field survey there was a total of 46 species recorded between April 2010 and September last year including 15 species protected by either international or national legislation.

These include black grouse, common cuckoo, greylag goose and hen harrier.

The report stated: “Precautionary mitigation measures for all breeding birds are proposed including the avoidance of breeding periods when commencing the construction of the access tracks and felling of trees.

“An Ecological Clerk of Works would be present on site during construction and would ensure that mitigation measures are implemented.

“The residual effects of the development may include some negligible habitat loss and displacement around the windfarm infrastructure, and access tracks.

“Overall, it is concluded there will not be significant impacts on ornithology as a result of the Saddle Hill Wind Farm, assuming appropriate mitigation measures are adopted.”

Opposition groups are already understood to be gathering against the development, which would see 81 hectares of commercial forest felled.

The area around the Saddle Hill site has already been the subject of controversial and strongly opposed failed windfarm bids.

Wind Prospect Developments Ltd, on behalf of EDF Energy Renewables, has submitted a planning application to both Angus Council and Perth and Kinross Council.

Source:  Habitat loss fears over windfarm | By Graeme Strachan | The Courier | 28 November 2014 | www.thecourier.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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