South Scotland

RSPB Scotland argues wind farm proposals threaten wildlife

Hen harrier Image copyright Mark Hamblin (rspb)
Image caption RSPB Scotland says hen harriers are one of the bird species threatened by the development

RSPB Scotland is urging people in Dumfries and Galloway to have their say on plans for a wind farm on moorland 4km (2.49 miles) north of Sanquhar.

The plan for the Spango (Mid Ring) wind farm proposes erecting 14 turbines, each of them 145m (475ft) tall.

But the charity said the site was important for threatened wildlife such as hen harriers, peregrines and short-eared owls.

Developers Community Windpower Ltd could not be contacted for comment.

A previous application to erect wind turbines on the site was withdrawn by the developers following objections from the RSPB, Scottish Heritage and local residents.

But the RSPB argues that the resubmission is virtually identical to the original application, with the location of one turbine moved by just 10m (32.8ft).

The site forms part of the Muirkirk and north Lowther Uplands Special Protection Area.

The charity is urging people in the region to find out more about the proposals, and lodge their opinion with Dumfries and Galloway Council before the consultation deadline on 5 January 2015.

A spokesman from RSPB Scotland, Chris Rollie, said: "We examine individual wind farm proposals very carefully, and most pose no serious threat to birds or other wildlife.

"We are objecting to Spango (Mid Rig) because we believe the potential for harm is unacceptable, and any turbines at the site would specifically threaten birds such as hen harriers, already under pressure from illegal persecution and habitat quality."

"We are extremely concerned about the proposals for this wind farm, as we would be about any threat to this particular site. The wind farm would be located within an area that is truly spectacular for wildlife, and an SPA, one of the highest environmental designations in Europe."

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