RSPB welcomes rejection of wind farm plans

Wind turbine at another location in Scotland Credit: Press Association

RSPB Scotland has welcomed Dumfries and Galloway's Council's rejection of plans for a new wind farm near Sanquhar.

The council's planning committee today turned down an application from Community Windpower Ltd for 14 turbines on the Spango Windfarm.

RSPB Scotland said the proposed development, which would have been located on part of the Muirkirk and North Lowther Uplands Special Protection Area (SPA), threatened to damage an internationally important wildlife site that's home to birds including the hen harrier and short-eared owl.

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

"This is extremely good news. This decision sends out a very strong message about the importance of protecting Scotland’s wildlife heritage.

"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 wind farm. 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.”

– Chris Rollie, RSPB Scotland