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Watchdog warns windfarm would kill scores of golden eagles

The turbines would wipe out a fifth of the UK population of these birds within a year, according to the new assessment.

SCORES of golden eagles would be killed by a massive windfarm in the Western Isles, according to a new assessment.


Scottish Natural Heritage (SNH) has reviewed Beinn Mhor Power's plans to build 113 turbines on Lewis and now warns that one golden eagle would be killed every three to six weeks by the structures, not every three to six years as originally claimed by the company.

A white-tailed eagle would be killed every eight to 15 weeks, rather than every eight to 15 years, according to David MacLennan, Western Isles area manager for SNH.

The figures emerged in a letter from Mr MacLennan to the Scottish Executive, obtained under freedom of information laws by an objector to the plan for Eisgein Estate in the south of the island.

SNH had rubber-stamped the original environmental statement by Beinn Mhor Power, but an "independent party" later pointed out the mistake, leading to the advisory body's reappraisal. Beinn Mhor Power has accepted the error, according to the letter.

The Scottish Executive is currently considering the application, alongside another development
planned by Lewis Windpower for a 209-turbine farm just outside Stornoway.

The islands of Lewis and Harris are home to around 60 pairs of golden eagles.... more [truncated due to possible copyright]  

SCORES of golden eagles would be killed by a massive windfarm in the Western Isles, according to a new assessment.


Scottish Natural Heritage (SNH) has reviewed Beinn Mhor Power's plans to build 113 turbines on Lewis and now warns that one golden eagle would be killed every three to six weeks by the structures, not every three to six years as originally claimed by the company.

A white-tailed eagle would be killed every eight to 15 weeks, rather than every eight to 15 years, according to David MacLennan, Western Isles area manager for SNH.

The figures emerged in a letter from Mr MacLennan to the Scottish Executive, obtained under freedom of information laws by an objector to the plan for Eisgein Estate in the south of the island.

SNH had rubber-stamped the original environmental statement by Beinn Mhor Power, but an "independent party" later pointed out the mistake, leading to the advisory body's reappraisal. Beinn Mhor Power has accepted the error, according to the letter.

The Scottish Executive is currently considering the application, alongside another development
planned by Lewis Windpower for a 209-turbine farm just outside Stornoway.

The islands of Lewis and Harris are home to around 60 pairs of golden eagles. There are only 32 pairs of white-tailed, or sea, eagles in the UK, the vast majority in Lewis, Mull, and Skye, where they were reintroduced 30 years ago.


The turbines would wipe out a fifth of the UK population of these birds within a year, according to the new assessment.


The Beinn Mhor Power windfarm is a private venture by Nicholas Oppenheim, the owner of the Eisgein Estate, who refused to comment. However, the company looks set to press ahead, with an announcement yesterday that it had reached an agreement with the National Grid to connect the windfarm to the mainland network.


Jed Carter, the objector who obtained the SNH letter, said: "The project is sited in one of the most important eagle habitats in Europe and the predicted impact is of extreme concern. If the proposal had been properly scrutinised it would never have survived into a full-blown planning application."



SNH said it received a large number of windfarm applications for consideration every week and that, while it did some validation work on environmental assessments, it was difficult to do so comprehensively.


Source: http://www.theherald.co.uk/...

FEB 2 2006
http://www.windaction.org/posts/1147-watchdog-warns-windfarm-would-kill-scores-of-golden-eagles
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