RSPB welcomes council’s wind farm refusal

RSPB Scotland has welcomed a decision by Dumfries and Galloway Council’s planning committee to reject proposals for a wind farm in Spango.

The proposed 14 turbine wind farm by Community Windpower Ltd would have been located on part of the Muirkirk and North Lowther Uplands Special Protection Area (SPA).

The area is designated for its importance for species such as hen harrier, peregrine, merlin, short-eared owl and golden plover.

Planners at Dumfries and Galloway Council had recommended refusal for the proposal following a number of outstanding objections, including objections from RSPB Scotland and Scottish Natural Heritage (SNH).

“This decision sends out a very strong message about the importance of protecting Scotland’s wildlife heritage,” said Chris Rollie from RSPB Scotland. 

“The wind farm would have resulted in significant damage to an area that is truly spectacular for wildlife, and an SPA, one of the highest environmental designations in Europe. This is clearly not an appropriate place for a windfarm.  

“Renewables must be delivered, but not at any price. We would be happy to work with Community Windpower Ltd to identify other more suitable places where renewables could be developed without significantly damaging a designated site.”

Jamie Hailstone is a freelance journalist and author, specializing in local government, transport and energy issues