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Wind farm may affect wildlife

Construction of a wind farm at Logiealmond could have a significant impact on wildlife, according to opponents of the proposal. According to consultant ecologist Nigel Rudd there would be a knock-on effect to birds and animals in the area if the 14-turbine development went ahead. "Modification of the habitat resource could significantly alter the attractiveness of the site to certain species.

Construction ofa wind farm at Logiealmond could have a significant impact on wildlife, according to opponents of the proposal.

According to consultant ecologist Nigel Rudd there would be a knock-on effect to birds and animals in the area if the 14-turbine development went ahead.

"Modification of the habitat resource could significantly alter the attractiveness of the site to certain species that, in turn, could affect the attraction of the site to species that prey on those species," says Mr Rudd in evidence lodged with the public inquiry currently under way in Amulree village hall.

"For example, generalised drying out of the bog areas could increase the extent of grassland that would promote population increases in small mammals.

"Bird species that prey on the small mammals would be attracted to the area, changing the significance of the land to these species.

"Such a change could be significant in assessing the impact of development of the site for a wind farm-habitat changes brought about as a consequence of construction could attract more raptors to the site thereby increasing the risk of those bird species colliding with turbines."

Mr Rudd, whose evidence has been submitted... more [truncated due to possible copyright]  

Construction of a wind farm at Logiealmond could have a significant impact on wildlife, according to opponents of the proposal.

According to consultant ecologist Nigel Rudd there would be a knock-on effect to birds and animals in the area if the 14-turbine development went ahead.

"Modification of the habitat resource could significantly alter the attractiveness of the site to certain species that, in turn, could affect the attraction of the site to species that prey on those species," says Mr Rudd in evidence lodged with the public inquiry currently under way in Amulree village hall.

"For example, generalised drying out of the bog areas could increase the extent of grassland that would promote population increases in small mammals.

"Bird species that prey on the small mammals would be attracted to the area, changing the significance of the land to these species.

"Such a change could be significant in assessing the impact of development of the site for a wind farm-habitat changes brought about as a consequence of construction could attract more raptors to the site thereby increasing the risk of those bird species colliding with turbines."

Mr Rudd, whose evidence has been submitted on behalf of the Amulree and Strathbraan Wind farm Action Group (ASWAG), conceded that the loss of blanket bog habitat would be "insignificant" in the context of the overall coverage of this habitat in Perth and Kinross.

The public inquiry is looking at the appeal against the decision by Perth and Kinross Council to refuse planning consent for the wind farm, which would lie 13km north-west of Perth.

Landscape consultant Ken Halliday, giving evidence on behalf of the developers, Vattenfall Wind Power Ltd (VWPL), said that from his experience the plan would meet a mixed response saying, "some will regard (it) as harmful, some will regard (it) as positive and to which some will be indifferent."

"For those of a negative disposition toward the proposal, they may consider it alters the attributes of the local character area by introducing elements they may regard as being uncharacteristic... leading to a significant effect upon local amenity," said Mr Halliday.

"While recognising the legitimacy of this position, I do not concur with it-in my opinion, the scale, form and capacity of the local landscape is capable of accommodating the appeal proposal.

"It is also important to note that the alterations brought about by the proposed wind farm could be quickly recovered following decommissioning and site restoration.

"Whether regarded as adverse or positive, landscape and visual effects arising from the proposed wind farm can be reversed.

"As such, the wind farm should be regarded as a long-term reversible addition to the local scene.

"Having given very careful consideration to the council's position it is my professional opinion that the landscape and visual effects of the Logiealmond wind farm proposal should be considered acceptable in this location."

The inquiry continues today and is due to continue next week.


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

AUG 19 2009
http://www.windaction.org/posts/21810-wind-farm-may-affect-wildlife
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